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Introducing new chickens into an existing flock - Advice?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jimijames, Jul 28, 2010.

  1. jimijames

    jimijames In the Brooder

    Apr 14, 2010
    Southern Neew Hampshire

    I currently have a 12 4 month old chickens (which started laying this week!![​IMG]) and a friend of mine approached me asking if I could take a hen and her 5 chicks that are currently about 2 weeks old right now. They dont have the room to house them.

    I am willing to take them because I have plenty of room but I'm concerned about what will happen if I introduce them to my girls. I thoght about segregateing off a small area in the run for a couple weeks so they can get used to each other.

    Also, how would I know if any of the chicks are female or male?

    any suggestions or ideas would be great.

    Last edited: Jul 28, 2010
  2. sheaviance1

    sheaviance1 Songster

    Apr 7, 2010
    I have researched this very topic on here pretty heavily this week because I am going to add a couple this weekend. It seems the most successful way is to segregate them for a few weeks where they can see each other, hear each other, but not interact. I haven't ran across any posts yet where they have integrated a hen with chicks, but I would definitely be more careful with them.
    Good luck and Congratulations!!!
  3. jimijames

    jimijames In the Brooder

    Apr 14, 2010
    Southern Neew Hampshire
  4. sheila3935

    sheila3935 Songster

    Jul 10, 2010
    Stonington, illinois
    I had a sick 8 week old roo that was isolated for a few days. When I put him back with his hatchmates they started pecking him. I had to remove him again for fear he would get hurt. So i took the cage I had him in and put it in the coop with the rest for a day. Then by accident we had a bad storm that caused thier coop to leak. In a hurry we grabbed them all up and took them in the garage for the night. In there they didnt peck him. Neutral territory. The next morning after cleaning and repairing the coop took them all back out. No pecking. So maybe keeping them seperate for a bit and then introducing in a neutral territory there wont be problems. Expect a liitle pecking as this is normal, just watch for excessive pecking. As for the babies I would be very careful. Bigger hens can be very agressive to babies thats why I have 2 coops. One for my big girls and them what I call the baby coop for the little ones til they get bigger.
  5. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Free Ranging Staff Member Premium Member 9 Years

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    With a hen and her chicks, I'd keep them separate until the chicks are about 13 weeks old and roughly the same size as the adults. I'd quarantine them for 30 days also. Then give them an area where they can see each other and get used to each other before you throw them together. The mother will not be able to handle the integration into the flock AND protect her chicks. It will just end badly.
  6. juice

    juice In the Brooder

    May 27, 2008
    Hi All, I have a flock of 14 ISA browns and the kids took two of them to the county fair for a week-BIG mistake [​IMG]. When we brought them back home and waited until dark to put them in the hen house nest a.m. there was a problem brueing and now two days later one of them is torn open and I would like to get out of chickens when I see this behavior-disgusting!
    I am thinking that I need to get rid of the whole flock and starting over but can't figure out who the bully is so as to get rid of her separetley.
    Any ideas ??? [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
  7. jimijames

    jimijames In the Brooder

    Apr 14, 2010
    Southern Neew Hampshire
    Wow, that's terrible, sorry to hear that. From what I have been researching even if you take them out of thier normal flock enviornment for a period of time, they will do that. You may have to reintroduce them slowly, segregate off an area where they can 'see' but not touch.

    When I introduce my new chickens to my flock I will be puttng them in a seperate cage for at least a couple of weeks so they can get used to each other. I've never done this before so I have no idea what I'm in for..

    good luck to you, I hope it works out for you.
  8. GardenWeasel

    GardenWeasel Songster

    Feb 23, 2009
    Henry, TN
    I introduced 4 Wellsummer chicks this year to my 25 one year old mixed flock. I have told everyone in my family I can not do this again so stop me next spring when chickies are so cute. They are integrated now but taking care of 2 sets of chickens was a lot to handle. I was not set up well and didn't forsee how much time I would spend chasing down the 13 wk chicks to put them out in a dog crate for free range time, then putting the big girls in so I could chase the chicks again after putting the dog crate in the coop daily. Just my experience. I love babies but next time will replace whole flock or none. Hope you set this up better than I did, maybe I am just too old.

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