Need help... Considering new chicks.

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Chandice, Feb 4, 2016.

  1. Chandice

    Chandice Out Of The Brooder

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    I am wanting to get a few more female chicks (possibly considering young pullets, so I don't have to deal with birds so young). I already have a small flock (6 hens, 1 roo) and I'm aware that I should quarantine and keep them separate for a bit however if I get chicks, since they will be small for so long, should I build a separate housing for them? How old should they be before being introduced to the flock? And would it be a wiser choice to find some that are older?
     
  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    Hi,

    There's lots of thread on integrating new flock members and as there are so many variables that will take a while for us to figure out, I'd suggest you search for these threads. You'll then be able to decide what will work best for you.

    All the best
    CT
     
  3. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Adding older chickens to a flock may sound like it would be easier, but the pecking order issues are greater with this group. You can expect a degree of conflict as the pecking order sorts itself out.[​IMG]


    Adding baby chicks has its risks, but the adult flock accepts babies more easily since they're too young to compete with them in the social order.

    I prefer increasing my flock by adding chicks, and I've found an easy system to make it practically effortless.

    First, it's very beneficial to brood your baby chicks with the adults so the chicks will be accepted early on. Chicks raised along side the adult flock learn and understand the dangers the big chickens pose and are better equipped to cope. When it comes time for the chicks to begin mingling with the adults, they are already known to the flock, and they understand to keep out of reach of them.

    In lieu of brooding chicks with the adults, frequent, early day trips to a safe pen in the run will accomplish almost the same effect. After a week or so of being acquainted with the flock, and as long as the chicks are three weeks or older, I then let them begin mingling with the flock using 5 x 7" openings from their safe pen into the rest of the run. By age five or six weeks, the chicks are then adept enough to move into the coop with the adult flock.
     
  4. Chandice

    Chandice Out Of The Brooder

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    What do you mean by brooding the chicks with the adults? Should I put the brooder out there with the adults or allow the hens to raise the chicks? And how old should they be for the other option of just visiting the older girls?
     
  5. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    I brood my chicks in a shed, then when they can handle outdoor temperatures I either move them to a separate pen within the coop, or in the run depending on whether I'm putting them back in the brooder at night. When I move them out permanently they get no extra heat.

    I leave them penned for a week or two than start letting them out to mingle under supervision, returning them to their pen, until I feel comfortable leaving them out with the big ones during the day, eventually I stop locking them up at night and they are free to do as they please.

    If it's too cold at night to leave them in the coop, I put them in a pen within the run, I then return them to the brooder until they are old enough, or it's warm enough to go out permanently.

    The best age for integration is 6-10 weeks, they are not a threat and mostly left alone except to be pecked to get out of the way.
     
  6. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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  7. Chandice

    Chandice Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the info!
     
  8. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    We are always glad to help around here. Here's a video of my chicks. The 4 week old ones were fully integrated into the flock. The three week old ones were still going back into their brooder pen at night.

    [​IMG]
     

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