Joining young with old?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by John01, Dec 20, 2008.

  1. John01

    John01 In the Brooder

    Jan 27, 2008
    I have 5 hens that are going to be a year old in February, I had 6 but a Hawk got one!

    Anyways if I were to get 2 chicks, when could I join them with the flock and will they accept them?

    If you want to see the hawk eating my Plymouth rock go to youtube


  2. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

    Oct 13, 2007
    Some folks suggest waiting till the babies are the same size before introducing them.

    I on the other hand, could not keep babies in the house THAT long.

    Don't get them when its too cold out.

    I gradually introduced them over a couple of weeks, first off taking the babies out in a little make shift tractor while the older birds free ranged.
    After a few days of that, I let the babies out to free range with the older birds, and kept a close eye on them.

    Next step was moving the brooder into the coop, the babies slept in the coop - and in the morning when I opened up, I let the babies out after the older ones had taken off to range.

    After a few days of that, and keeping a keep eye on them, I cut a hole in the side of the brooder, just big enough for the babies to come and go - but too small a hole for the big girls to get in. I also made a safe area outside in the run (even though the run is open 99% of the time) it was an outdoor area fenced, with small holes only the babies could fit into - and that was their safe spot.

    It worked pretty well, and soon the babies weren't going into the brooder at night, they weren't roosting either but trying to roost on the brooder, I did have to move them to the roost after everyone was sleeping a few nights, and all is well...

    I started all this process, when the babies were 8 weeks old.
  3. Smartie_Pants

    Smartie_Pants Songster

    Oct 5, 2008
    Madisonville, KY
    Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. I got two cuckoo maran pullets who were about 2-3 months old and they were about half the size of the rest of my chickens. I figured they would do fine since I have some bantys about the same size in there. All the other chickens pecked them anytime they got near the food and they would never get to eat. Eventually I had to seperate them until they grew to almost the same size as the others and they still get run off sometimes. It depends on the temperment of both the chickens and the chicks, the pecking order, and many other things. It's a try and see thing. Eventually they will be accepted, but there is pecking order so they won't get along like BFF's.

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