Introducing new chicks to old ones

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by kammachicken, May 6, 2011.

  1. kammachicken

    kammachicken Hatching

    May 6, 2011
    My grandson & I have 3 chickens we got last year this time so they are about a year old. We just got 4 more baby chicks which we will want to introduce to the older ones in about a month. What is the best way to do this and can it be done successfully? I have been told the older chickens may peck them to death. Any truth to this? We have a chicken house but mostly free range them in our back yard. Our old chickens are very friendly and share the back yard with our Boxer dog with no problems.

  2. abubakar4u2003

    abubakar4u2003 In the Brooder

    Apr 17, 2011
    Houston, TX
    Don't try this. Specially with the age difference they have. Surely, the big ones are gonna kill those innocent chicks. Even if they might not, still there is a danger of injuring those chicks. I'd say, wait for them to grow at least the same size as the big ones and then introduce them into the flock. But even then you will have lots of fighting between them.
  3. Watermelon_Gypsy

    Watermelon_Gypsy Songster

    Apr 26, 2010
    We will be doing this as well - I have one GLW that once she's fully grown will be introduced to my other hens. I know it can go badly, but it can also work too. You wont know till you try. I've read stories here where it's gone both ways - so I think this is just one of those things where you have to try it and see. Good luck!
  4. Azriel

    Azriel Songster

    Jun 19, 2010
    Don't do it untill they are at least close to the same size. There will still be lots of fighting, but at least the little one will be able to hold their own.

  5. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    From personal experience, I can say it is best to wait until around 4 months of age to put them in with the full size ones.

    I have gotten away with it with adding a HUGE flock of younguns at 2-3 months (outnumbering the older flock), but that was the second flock I tried this with.

    The first time I tried it with 2 month olds, they would have died had I not intervened. I waited until 4 months to try adding them again, and then it was peaceful.

    What happens is, they put their little tushies in the air and hide their faces. The older ones peck their behinds until they are going to be eaten up.

    Buff Hooligans has an excellent article on his BYC page on adding to the flock.

    You might want to get a growout coop with attached pen, or make a growout pen and put them in a dog carrier in the coop at night.

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