introducing new chicks to previous flock

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by chickiedooda, Jun 27, 2008.

  1. chickiedooda

    chickiedooda Hatching

    Jun 26, 2008
    New Milford, CT
    Hate to start with a kinda sad post, but I lost four chickens this week to an evil raccoon. I had no idea how very violent and senseless that event was going to be. This is my first time raising chickens. Now I know a lot more about keeping them safe from predators. Anyhow, four was half my flock, the survivors seem lonesome, and I love having chickens, so I am getting more. I have ordered eight new chicks. My other girls are about three months old. Does anyone have any advice about introducing new birds to the flock at this age? I think it is supposed to be easier when they are younger. I plan to incubate the chicks for about three weeks, then put them in with the older birds.
  2. hwerner

    hwerner In the Brooder

    Jun 28, 2008
    Independence, KS
    Good idea to keep them seperate for a few weeks, so that the new chicks can be a little stronger and braver to defend themselves. They will be picked on regardless of how long you keep them seperated. My advice is to make hiding places with food and water in them that only the chicks can get in and out of. The food in the hiding places will insure that they are getting enought to eat and drink. The older ones tend to run the babies off. That way when there is danger, they can get away before they get hurt. They will eventually start to blend in, but beware, the pecking order can be ugly and viscious no matter how young the oldest ones are. I like to say that chickens are like 2 year old children, they can be stingy and just plain mean to other chickens.
  3. ginbart

    ginbart Crowing

    Mar 9, 2008
    Bloomsburg, PA
    Sorry to hear about your lose.

    I was told you are not to put chicks of different sizes together. That they sould be the same size. Thats just what I read. Wanted to let you know.

    Someone who knows more will help you better.
  4. Robin L

    Robin L Songster

    Jun 12, 2008
    currently have my 3 week old babies in the same coop as my 2 to 3 year old laying hens. I do how ever have "hiding spots" for the babies to go if needed. Their hiding spot is the homemade booder that they have, half a old dog create with a gate so only they can get in and its covered with an old window. The chickens have been living like this for a week and everyone is doing great. Im not saying the big ones dont try to peck because they do but the babies are fast and know right where to go. No one has been hurt yet. Good luck with what ever you do.

    Edited to correct spelling errors do to fat fingers;)
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2008
  5. ZooMummzy

    ZooMummzy Queen of the Zoo

    Mar 31, 2008
    Philomath, Oregon
    I was just going to post a question like this when I ran across this thread. I am suffering through the pecking order stuff right now and I can tell you, I'm about ready to give away my two youngest because it is just awful.

    The two little ones are 6 weeks old and the older eight are 16 weeks. They are nowhere near the same size, but I needed to get the 6 week olds out of the house. They are living in a dog crate in the run/coop but they fly out when I open the door to feed them. What happens after that is the older chickens chase and corner the little ones and peck them till they scream. The little ones eventually run back into their crate but are so traumatized they go limp when I pick them up.

    I'm really not sure when it's time to give up. The little ones cannot live in the dog crate for too much longer and I can't stand hearing the babies scream even if it is the natural order of things.
  6. a2ms4chickens

    a2ms4chickens Songster

    Dec 16, 2007
    Tucson, AZ
    You should keep your chicks in a separate pen/cage until they are about the same size as your other flock. Keeping them in the cage keeps them safe until they are old enough to let out. It also lets the other chickens get used to the chicks.

    I have my chicks in a large animal kennel, and they do try to get out. I won't let them out until they are big enough to defend themselves. Once they are big enough, I will put them on a perch at night. The next morning, there will be some chasing around until the pecking order is done. This usually takes a couple of days.

    I recently let our 10 week RIR chicks out this same way, and they have blended in quite well. No blood, a couple of days of being chased, and all is well.

    Good luck.

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