Introduction of new chicks to the flock.

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by BubbaLikesIt, Mar 31, 2015.

  1. BubbaLikesIt

    BubbaLikesIt Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 9, 2013
    Our flock of 14 has trimmed down to 10 and some of the girls are getting slow on egg production. We are going to introduce some new chicks to the flock via fertilized eggs and a broody hen. I have never isolated a broody hen before and I was wondering will the isolation be a problem for the new chicks and the rest of the flock? I guess my exact question would be does the broody hen and chicks need to be exposed to the flock while hatching or will cage isolation within the coop work? I don't want the new chicks to get pecked to death. I know that the broody hen will protect the new chicks and that is a possible problem. My hen and only hen that goes broody is a GLW with what I think has a Guinea gene and she is about halfway up the pecking order. I don't know how she is going to work out being a new mama but we shall see.


  2. farnorth

    farnorth Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 6, 2013
    Upper Michigan
    I Isolate my hen in a large brooder cage inside the coop.

    Later her and her babies will be allowed out when the flock is free ranging. (when the babies are about 2 weeks of age).

    If it works like it did for me last year.... at night she will return to the nest area in the cage with her babies to sleep and I would lock them in.

    Every day I would then let them out after the flock had left the coop to free range. The broody also took the babies out to free range but kept some distance between her brood and the flock. If anyone came too close to her babies she warned them off....except the rooster he was not warned away and he ocasionally offered the chicks a treat and did not harm them.

    Eventually the hen will leave the babies and return to hanging out with the flock and sleeping on the roost with the flock. By then the babies know how to stay out of the way of the older hens and the hens are used to them. They will of course be low on pecking order but still accepted as part of the flock.

    As adolescence mine hung out close to the coop and stayed away from the rest of the flock until they mature and started roosting with the rest of the flock...which still often leads to scuffles but eventually settles down.

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