New Babies, when do i introduce them?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by chickathon, Aug 29, 2011.

  1. chickathon

    chickathon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG] I have two new barred rock babies hatched on the 24th. I was wondering when to introduce them to the other chickens? Any advice would be helpful and appreciated! [​IMG]
     
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    BuffHooligans has a great adding to the flock article on her BYC page.

    How old is your flock?

    If they are full grown hens, I like to introduce new ones at around 4 months of age. I have gotten away with earlier, depending on the number of new ones introduced and the breed of the older ones.

    With aggressive hens, they will kill the younger ones.
     
  3. chickathon

    chickathon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The two Dominique chickens a roo and a hen are about 2 years. The two Golden Sebrights are the same age. I have 3 Guinea keets that are 14 weeks old and getting a run all to them selves shortly. I have 13 pullets of 10 weeks in the run with the adults they don't seem to care until roosting time and need their space. And they give them their space after a couple of dissapproving pecks from the older hens. They all free range throughout the day.
     
  4. RhodeRed596

    RhodeRed596 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 14, 2011
    You should probably introduce them at about 3 1/2 - 4 months of age, about when they get full-grown. Introducing a small amount of 2 month old chickens to a larger amount of adults in my experience can lead to some deaths. Doing it the other way around is just fine.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2011
  5. Velma&theChix

    Velma&theChix Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:So, if I want to introduce 24 chicks to 5 (year old and older) hens, they should be ok? It would be ok to put them together when the chicks are 3-4 months?

    Thanks for your help.
     
  6. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Quote:There is a huge difference between a 6 week old chick and an 8 week old chick.

    Also there is a huge difference between an 8 week old chick and a 10 week old chick.

    By this I mean in their response to grown up birds. They peep like babies, put their tushies in the air, and hide their faces in a corner when they are too young to be in with aggressive older hens.

    What matters is, will the older hens give them a peck or two and walk away? IF this is the case, then it is just the normal pecking order business. If they look like they are about to kill the babies, they just might.

    I would definitely supervise all attempts carefully to integrate the flocks and it might take several attempts before they are old enough. I speak of this because some folks are desperate to integrate due to the fact that they don't have the facilities for a separate coop and run, and are really tired of chicks in the bathtub.

    I would say that it is infinitely better to integrate the latest you can manage it. And personally I would do it at 3 or 4 months (4 is better) due to the fact that you only have two joining the flock. Earlier might work, but it will depend on the personalities of the older hens. I have sold hens for aggression and I know that if they were presented with babies of 6 weeks old they would have killed them. I pulled mine out as I did indeed try it.

    I mention 6 weeks, 8 weeks, 10 weeks, and so on, since I presume that is when you are going to consider integrating for the first time.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2011
  7. jadell

    jadell Out Of The Brooder

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    I have a different set up. My babies stay with their mothers, with the rest of the entire flock, their entire lives. I have plenty of space, and I've NEVER seen a chicken KILL another chicken. Some babies do get stepped on, but I've come to take those losses as the price of doing business. Like I said, I have a huge coop, and they free range. I say, if the babies are old enough to run away, and have plenty of room to do so, you'll be fine. I've raised hundreds of chicks this way. It works for me. I think plenty of room is key. Most of my hens don't even care, except of course when the day is over and it's roosting time. All of the young ones just huddle together in the corner on the floor, away from the roosts. I have gentle breeds also, black giants and australorps with one golden comet and white leghorn thrown in. Maybe 60 birds or so right now with more due to hatch in a couple of weeks.
     
  8. chickathon

    chickathon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 12, 2011
    West Virginia
    Thanks for all the info! I think I have decided to wait to introduce them until they are older. I have them in a different run with their mama. Or, should I say their adopted mom. She is a bantam. They are dominique. And likely to get into trouble with the larger hens protecting her babies anyway. I appreciate all the advice! [​IMG]
     

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