New babies and older hens intro

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by prncs13, May 29, 2010.

  1. prncs13

    prncs13 In the Brooder

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    Nov 22, 2008
    Hi,
    Again this year we are giving our broody hen day old chicks to raise. We throw them under her at night and she thinks she hatched them herself. She is a fierce mother and protects her babies. In the past I have kept Sugar and the babies away from the rest of the flock for about a month, but I would really like to integrate them sooner. I was thinking maybe keeping them in a cage in the coop for the first week and then letting them out with the big kids. We have 6 other hens and a rooster (he is lovable and protective of his flock). Any advice on the timing of introducing? I know when the babies were a month old int he past Sugar protected them and the rest of the coop was terrified of her. Just don't know how the babies would fare at a younger age.

    Thanks.
    Michelle
     
  2. usschicago1

    usschicago1 Suburban Cochins

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    Taunton, MA
    I tried it and it was bad. Momma fought with everyone while squashing the chicks [​IMG] BTW [​IMG]
     
  3. prncs13

    prncs13 In the Brooder

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    Nov 22, 2008
    Hi,

    My hens are afraid of Sugar since she is top dog and they stay out of her way. I think I'm going to have her in the coop in the cage for a week or 2 until the babies can get their feet under them and then spend the day with them during the intro. My rooster would definitely get involved. When the hens fight he always gets in the middle and breaks it up plus Sugar's best friend helps her raise the babies and would back her up.

    Michelle
     
  4. pgpoultry

    pgpoultry Songster

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    Oct 16, 2009
    Wales
    I would certainly have chicken wire separating mature birds from chicks, even if momma hen is alpha female. Let the older birds get used to the chicks first, and if necessary, introduce a few mature birds to the chicks at a time. Behaviour can be unpredictable at first.
    I generally wait until the chicks are about 6 weeks old and can run fast!
    Good Luck,
    Sandie
     
  5. prncs13

    prncs13 In the Brooder

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    Nov 22, 2008
    Thanks. They are going in the dog carrier in the coop so everyone can see them. After a few weeks I will probably let Butterfly check them out since she is so easy. Maybe I will take Sugar and the babies into the garden with me too. I just want to make sure everyone is safe.
    M
     
  6. andalusn

    andalusn Songster

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    Sep 6, 2009
    Ridgefield, WA
    I have a breezway aisleway in my barn where the main hen house sits next too so I have cover close by for rainy days etc. I placed my nursery pen (dog x-pen) in the aisleway across from the front of the hen house. This area is the morning mingle area where I put down some scratch and then the hens and rooster decide where to head off to for their am trek and ranging. The momma hens could feel that they were a part of the group but have their alone time with an area that they felt safe with their chicks. As the weeks went by they integrated the chicks to the group on their own and once they were two months old everyone went into the hen house at night.

    [​IMG]
     

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