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Introducing new chicks to adults?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Mike Winters, Jan 31, 2013.

  1. Mike Winters

    Mike Winters Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Is there a safe way to introduces 1 day old chicks from a TSC to six 1 year old hens? I don't mean put them in a cage together i mean like let adults out and see you have babies so they can see there are new chickens in their yard, and then let them sleep together when they feather out.

    will the hens try to brood them realizing they are just harmless babies or kill them seeing them as a threat that must die at all costs like a male bear to cubs?
     
  2. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    If you have a broody hen, then you *might* be able to slip some chicks under her in the night. If none of them are actively sitting, then they'll likely kill them. I would brood them inside and then section/cage them off in the coop in their own little space when they are fully feathered. Mix everyone together when they're roughly the same size, that way when pecking order squabbles start the newbies can defend themselves. Good luck!
    Nikki
     
  3. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    There really isn't a good way to introduce birds that are different sizes to each other. Once your chicks reach 18 weeks or so, then they can be put together after a "get to know you" period on opposite sides of a fence. But while they are small, the older birds won't accept them.

    If you have the capability of keeping them separated, I would do that. Older hens will kill your chicks, and may even try to get to them through wire.

    I had a broody hen once that was great at sitting on eggs, but didn't defend the chicks from the flock once they were hatched. All her chicks were killed by flock members, even though they were with the broody hen. I never let her hatch eggs again.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2013
  4. Mike Winters

    Mike Winters Chillin' With My Peeps

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    and what about other species can i have ducklings, goslings, or poults in the yard without them going bonkers or are they to prejudice, if they are not raised with a different kind of animal they will just hate them no matter what you do.

    ducks are some much easier give them water and everyone is a instant friend
     
  5. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    That I don't know, sorry. We raise goats in the same pasture as chickens, but that's a bit different than other fowl.

    I do know you shouldn't raise poults with chickens, because chickens can transmit a disease called Blackhead to the poults. The chickens are carriers of the disease, but don't get sick.
     
  6. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Lots of people keep their ducks/geese with their chickens. The biggest complaint seems to be that waterfowl are very messy with their water and chickens like it dry.
    You CAN keep turkey with your chickens. When I kept them, my turkey hen would set her eggs and hatch and raise them right in the middle of the chicken flock. The chickens don't carry blackhead, it lives in the soil. So the turkeys can get it whether you have chickens or not if its prevalent in your area. A call to your local Ag department will tell you if there have been any reported cases of blackhead in your area :)
    Nikki
     
  7. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    As stated, if you have a broody you can try. I've read that the longer a broody is setting the better the chances are that she'll accept day olds. Otherwise, you'll need to brood them until they are similar size then slowly introduce.
    You can have them in the same yard. They will likely tolerate each other but not be friends. I had 3 month old ducklings and got some week old goslings and some 4 month old pullets. The goslings were brooded seperately until they were duck size. They all tolerated each other. Then, one of my ducks hatched out some ducklings. At about 1 week old, the geese attacked the ducklings. The geese are now in the freezer.

    When raising waterfowl with chickens, you need to ensure that your drake-duck or gander-goose ratios are appropriate. Drakes will try to mate with chickens if they do not have enough females (sometimes even if they do) which is dangerous or deadly for the chicken, the species are not anatomically compatible.

    For the record, I've never had ducks that would just accept new ducks. My drake is not thrilled with his 8 week old offspring but mom is still protecting them.
     
  8. dolphinlvr4

    dolphinlvr4 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What is blackhead disease?
     
  9. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Blackhead is a disease that affects the liver and cecum. I guess I should revise my previous post, chickens can get it but they usually aren't affected as severely as turks. Its caused by a protazoa that lives in soil and birds pick it up by consuming food/feces/earthworms off the ground. The chickens can carry it (so can wild birds), but they don't just have it and give it you the other birds. If its already present in the ground, the turkeys would get it regardless of whether you keep any other sort of fowl or not. One of the symptoms is a blue-ish/black scabby head, hence the name. Turkey are particularly sensitive to it, ad usually suffer high mortality rates if they catch it. I think that about covers it ;)
    Nikki
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2013
  10. dolphinlvr4

    dolphinlvr4 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok, Ty for the info. I'll be for sure watching my hens( only 3 mo old) and my chicks ( 2 wks old) for any signs. My hens were vaccinated for mereks but I bought the chicks locally. Eventually they will be one flock of 6 total. Does that make a huge diff if some are vaccinated n some aren't?
     

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