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Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by millerchix, Mar 23, 2017.
What tips or tricks do you use to introduce new chicks to an existing flock?
We do a hatch just about every Spring. We brood them in a protective enclosure right inside the coop with the adults. After 4-5 weeks, we move them out of the enclosure and into an adult-proof area on the floor of the coop that contains the babies' warming plate, food and water. The babies can venture outside of this protective zone at will and have free run of the coop and run. If the adults hover/threaten, the babies retreat back to the safety of their protected area.
Seems to work well enough for integration. By the time the babies are old enough/big enough/noteworthy enough to even be noticed by the adults, they have already spent so much time together (yet just apart) that there isn't usually much grab-assery when it finally comes time to take their place in the pecking order.
Pen them where the existing birds can see them for about a week, than start letting them mingle under supervision. Round them up if things get rough, and try the next day until you feel comfortable leaving them out. Some pecking is normal, chasing and cornering is considered rough. I integrate mine at 6-8 weeks.
Here's how I do it: