Introducing new chick to flock

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Mpeters901, Aug 1, 2008.

  1. Mpeters901

    Mpeters901 New Egg

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    Aug 1, 2008
    Hi everyone.

    I am a new chicken owner (first flock last year) and I am having trouble introducing my new chicks into the existing flock.

    I have 9 existing hens and 9, 15 week old chicks. Last week I put the new chicks into the main coop/run and that is when the problems started.

    The older hens will not let the new chicks out into the yard, run them away from the feed/waters and afre just being mean in general.

    I have lost 2 of the young ckickens in the last 3 days and I think it is because they were being kept from food/water. I have since sectioned them off with supplies of there own.

    Ideas gladly excepted.
     
  2. keljonma

    keljonma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    To introduce new birds to your flock, you need to have patience.

    First try to keep them penned separately but in the same area, so they can see each other and get used to each other. After a few weeks, you will see less fighting when they are out and about together.

    We use our laundry/mud room as a brooder room. It has a slider door with access to the back farm yard. We have an old dog kennel. When the chicklettes are ready to go outside (about 2 to 6 weeks, depending on weather and time of year), we only let them out into the kennel. This is in the farm yard and the rest of the flock (all adults) can see them and chatter with them without being able to touch them through the chain link fencing. We find this makes moving the chicks into the hen house when it is time much easier and less stressful for the flock.

    Here in the 2nd row of pics, you can see our 2006 flock in the laundry/mud room. In the 5th row of pics, you can see our Jersey Black Giant in the dog kennel outside our laundry/mud room with last year's chicks. I don't have any pics available of her with this year's chicks.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/keljonma/page4/
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2008
  3. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    3,788
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    May 24, 2007
    Colorado
    At that age you should be able to integrate them. What I did with my new chicks when I introduced them to my older flock was to partition off part of the coop and have the chicks on one side with the older girls on the other side. They could hear each other for a few days first but couldn't see each other. Then, I started letting the new chicks outside in the run during the day when I let the older girls out to free range. Thus, they could see each other for a few more days before actually being together. Each night I separated them again.

    Then, after about a week I started letting the chicks out in the run during the day WITH the older girls. I have a big run and there were no problems as the younger chicks had plenty of room to get away if someone got bossy. Then, I started free ranging them together also but still putting them in separate sides of the coop at night.

    Finally, a month after starting this process I took down the partition inside and they are all living very happily together.

    My chicks were just over 3 months old when I did this - having the chicks pretty close to the same size as the older chickens helps, which is why I think yours should be fine at this age.
     

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