Moving young chicks & momma in with rest of flock?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by esavvymom, Oct 23, 2014.

  1. esavvymom

    esavvymom Chirping

    Jun 18, 2013
    So I'm thinking maybe we waited way too long. We have a flock of 12 mixed breeds...11 hens, 1 cantankerous young Frizzle rooster. Our small frizzle Bantam (I think that is what she is-pictured below) went broody, and hatched 3 young chicks. We decided to let her do so, partly out of curiosity, and partly because we weren't prepared to break her. Now, they are 7.5 weeks old. The chicks are about the same size as momma...she's that small. We've been keeping them in a 4'x4' "nursery" within the coop- so they see and "talk" to the other birds. When the hens are in the run, we let the chicks and Ms.Frizz (momma) out into the main coop to explore and get used to things without the big girls bothering them.

    Today, for the first time, we had all of them together for about 20 see how things went. The hens didn't bother the chicks, but they were giving Ms.Frizz a hard time. Two big girls (Welsummer and a RI.Red) were picking on her....I know it's "pecking order" and all most likely...she has been separate for almost 9 weeks from the flock (visible to them, but not mingling).

    Should we just leave the nursery door open all the time and see what happens, or do it more gradually every day? Ms.Frizz was hiding in a corner behind a board we use to block the run door (to keep the rooster out while we clean)...and the chicks were actually in front of her, almost protecting HER from the big one (one acts like a rooster-in-training). This wasn't even the "dominant" hen as far as we could tell.

    Next time, we may just leave them all out- from day 1. Let her have a private nesting area like before, but with the doors open all the time. We didn't this time because the hens kept going in and taking their food, etc.

    Just confused as to the best way to integrate without harm. Ms.Frizz is so small (she's half the size of the Reds, Rocks, and Welsummers).


    (Picture from two weeks ago. They are some ugly birds...haha...especially the two frizzle chicks..they look half naked up close! We let them outside for a little while (first time for any of them). That black thing in the back is our small black lab/terrier dog, watching over them.)
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2014
  2. mtngirl35

    mtngirl35 Songster

    Dec 10, 2013
    I had the same problem even though I let momma hen and her chicks start mingling when the little fuzzies were less than a week old. The chicks were fine and Punkin, the momma, got picked on. Punkin is a runt, no bigger than a banty, so I fixed the nursery area door so she and the chicks could escape and have their own feed and water if needed. The other hens couldn't fit thru the door. Then I let them be to work it out. Things settled down in about a week. They just had to re-establish the pecking order since Punkin had been out of flock circulation while setting her eggs.

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