Need experts help.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by WINGER241, Feb 3, 2012.

  1. WINGER241

    WINGER241 New Egg

    Jul 29, 2011
    Hi, I want to know if it is possible to introduce new chicks to old hens? I have 4 old hens that have stopped laying and they are my girls so I can't destroy them. Is it possible to somehow bring in some new chicks into the pecking order without the old hens killing them? Thanks for any help.

  2. Chemguy

    Chemguy Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 30, 2011
    Springfield, Ohio
    You'll have better luck posting your question in the "Chicken Bahaviors and Egglaying" "Flock Management" or "Raising Chicks" fora.
  3. Spring Chook

    Spring Chook Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 29, 2009
    YES. I have done this several times. Just make sure you keep them separate for at least 6 weeks. Ideally you'd introduce the chicks when they had grown the same size as your old ladies, but I couldnt wait that long and mine coped ok with the transition. It also helps if you can have the chicks in a pen next to or within the other pen so they can all see each other.
    When you do introduce them to each other, be prepared for a bit of fighting but within a day or 2 everyone will have settled down and found their place in the new pecking order. I usually introduce the new chicks at night, put them straight onto the perches next to the old chickens.

    good luck
  4. WINGER241

    WINGER241 New Egg

    Jul 29, 2011
    Thank you so much for the tips, I was indecisive about this but went ahead and got some chicks today. I finally decided I should check my post that's why it am just responding.
  5. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    The key to integrating chicks at that age is to have lots of space so the little ones can get away. The more chicks the better, makes it harder for the hens to fixate on one chick. I currently have 11 9 week old chicks fully integrated with 11 hens and a rooster.

    I started with locking them in my broody area of my coop for about 10 days so they could interact with the flock but not get hurt. Then I wedged the door so the babies could come in and out, but the hens cannot get in. They only used this for a few days, and when I noticed it wasn't being used, I removed the door. After about a week of staying in the coop all day, they are now venturing out into the run. (coop is 8X12 and the run is 30 ft X 50 ft) They still get chased if they get too close to a couple of hens, but most of them ignore them. My rooster is very protective of them and comes running if he hears them cheeping.

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