Is there a way to raise chicks with the rest of the flock?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by pattgal, Jun 9, 2010.

  1. pattgal

    pattgal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My set up is a bit limiting but i would like to make my own baby chicks instead of having to purchase them.
    I have the hen coop which is insulated, and my meat coop which is more like a pen. my meat coop is pretty much occupied all summer and in the winter it would be too cold. is there a way i could hatch the eggs (under a broody) with the rest of the flock
    when i got my chicks they were all different ages and they didn't even need the light on, because of the difference the big ones kept the littler ones warm.
    i should mention they will not be free ranged but will have a pretty decent sized run
     
  2. darkmatter

    darkmatter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I introduce new broods to my established flock on a regular basis each year. After I incubate my own eggs and raise the chicks/keets in a brooder I made out of a stock tank. Once the chicks/keets are feathered out---usually about four weeks or so, I'll move them to inside the coop depending on the weather, the warmer-the sooner, cooler-wait til more feathered. I've made a cage that is in the shape of a large flat rectangle, (built out of an ferret cage left on the side of the road with a free sign on it.) I have separate feed and water in the chicks cage that sits on the floor (elevated with feet to allow droppings to fall into the deep litter under the cage). That way the adults and the juveniles get to see each other in the coop for a couple weeks before I start to open the little side doors on the cage to allow the juveniles out. (I wire the doors open just enough for the juveniles out, but not to allow the adults in. Otherwise the adults will enter the juvenile cage to eat their food) I usually let the juveniles freely in and out of their introduction cage for a week before I remove it after I see they are integrating to the flock. By the time the juveniles are among the flock, the adults have gotten use to seeing them in the coop. This way, the juveniles more quickly learn from the adults where to roost and where to eat and hunt for bugs. The only problem I may have, is the juveniles are reluctant to join the adults on the roost and will try roosting in the nest boxes---therefore I have a cover for the nest boxes I will use at night/evening if I have that problem develop. Once they gotten used to the roost, I can quit covering the nest boxes at night.
     
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    First you have to have a hen go broody. Not all hens will go broody and they certainly do not go broody on command. Many chickens have had the broodiness bred out of them. While it is possible that any hen can go broody at any time, it is also possible that no hen in your flock will ever go broody. Some breeds, like Silkies and Cochin, are more likely to go broody than other breeds, like Rhode Island Reds or Rocks, but there is no guarantee either way.

    Broody hens have been hatching eggs and raising chicks with the flock for thousands of years. Bad things can happen either way. I personally like to lock the broody away from the other chickens while she is incubating her eggs but let her raise the chicks with the flock. It is a personal choice. Most people are successful both ways and some people have problems both ways. These threads may help you.

    Isolate a Broody? Thread
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=213218

    Raise with flock? thread
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=215937&p=1

    Good luck!
     
  4. pattgal

    pattgal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I got some silkies for the broody part. my only concern is will they be able to fend off the other hens? they are EE's so not that big if you think that it could have been a white rock
    also, lol, ive got 4 silkies, 9 EE's and one EE roo in the same coop. Im gonna get crosses right?
     
  5. darkmatter

    darkmatter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I got some silkies for the broody part. my only concern is will they be able to fend off the other hens? they are EE's so not that big if you think that it could have been a white rock
    also, lol, ive got 4 silkies, 9 EE's and one EE roo in the same coop. Im gonna get crosses right?

    Yes, your going to get crosses. My flock is Mutts, mostly of the dual purpose meat/egg variety. (See my BYC) I love my Mutts. I am slowly working toward a landrace. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Landrace
     
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:Only if you let the silkie eggs *hatch*. If you remove them from under any broody, so she's only sitting on EE eggs, you'll be hatching only EEs. (Although silkieXee crosses can be pretty cute... [​IMG])

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     

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