Mixing babies with older flock?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by mamajan, Jan 30, 2008.

  1. mamajan

    mamajan New Egg

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    Jan 30, 2008
    We have a flock of 2 year old banties. They are 7 hens & 4 roosters. We have 25 bantie chicks arriving in a couple of weeks. When is the best time to introduce the baby chicks to the old timers and what's the recommended way to do that? Can we put one or two of the hens in with the babies, as soon as they arrive, to act as foster mothers?

    Thanks,
    mamajan
     
  2. Stormhorse23

    Stormhorse23 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 22, 2007
    Indiana
    be careful is all i can say. ive never introduced others to my flock.
     
  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Nope, they will not foster as only broodies have hormones in them to raise chicks. You will have to raise all the babies you get to be about 4 months old or to the same size as the adults before you start introducing them. Else they will get pecked on and possibly killed.

    Do a search on integrating flocks, adding new hens, and so on and there are quite a few treads on the topic.

    Oh yeah, you also have a very high roo ratio there. I guess if they aren't making your hens bald and fighting, they are fine. It's usually 1 roo to 10 or so hens.
     
  4. arlee453

    arlee453 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    I'm assuming here that the chicks you are getting are something LESS than 6 wks old when you get them...

    Unless you have a hen that is VERY broody, chances are that you won't be able to have your hens brood the chicks. Broodiness is completely hormonal and can't be 'induced' in chickens by putting with babies. You could very well have a massacre on your hands if your older hens decide they don't like baby chicks and start pecking and picking on them.

    Even if you do have ONE that will, the others may not and one hen can't cover 25 chicks. Even if they aren't agressive and just ignore them, the chicks will need warmth from a heat lamp until they are fully feathered out around 6 wks.

    I would brood the chicks with a heat lamp and food/water in a warmish, draft free area until they are at least 5-6 weeks old. General guideline is to place the heat lamp so it is around 90 degrees (Farenheit) and then lower the temp by raising the lamp every week about 5 degrees until they are at 70 degrees by 4-5 wks.

    Even then you may have to slowly integrate them with your existing birds. If you can put them in a pen where they can communicate through the fence that can help ease the transition.

    Good luck with your new babies!
     
  5. Stormhorse23

    Stormhorse23 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 22, 2007
    Indiana
    i have a 7 month old sebright mix that will literally take in any chick any time and has been that way since she was a chick. tried to sit on the other babies! just sharing! [​IMG]
     
  6. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Setting on other chicks and being nice to them is not quite what a broody mom hen does with her chicks. Some day if you get a broody, you'll see what I mean. Broody moms do a lot of work besides calling chicks over to stay warm.
     
  7. mamajan

    mamajan New Egg

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    Jan 30, 2008
    Thanks, everyone, for all of your suggestions.
    You've been very helpful.

    mamajan
     

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