New baby chicks arriving, can I introduce them to the big girls on day 1 to brood or get used to? Is

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by ChxLadyCass, Mar 7, 2017.

  1. ChxLadyCass

    ChxLadyCass Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have an established flock, rooster, plus 5 new young hens. I will be receiving 2 chicks on the 17th and 2 more on the 24th. I am curious if I can cage off my most broody (she's slightly brooder, but also really social) and see if she is wanting to raise the chicks as her own. Is this way too dangerous to try?
    If so, how soon can I start bring the little darlings to the flock to observe? I'd like them all to start getting used to one another as soon as possible with all the current change we have going on. Thoughts?

    @chickenmamma296 Had a similar question as well! Thanks!
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    IMO if you attempt this, you will most likely end up with a bunch of dead chicks. A hen will not accept chicks, and will consider them to be an intruder to the flock unless she's been stick tight to the nest day and night broody for several weeks. That being said, if you have a heating pad brooder set up in your coop, and if your coop is big enough, you can start to integrate the chicks into the flock at around 3 weeks. But, you need lots of room to do so safely, and you also need to have the brooder set up so that when you do start letting the chicks out into the big coop that they can come and go safely without the big girls getting into their brooder, and you need to be sure the chicks know how to get in/out of the brooder. Unfortunately, most chickens missed school the day they taught about doors and gates. For some reason, while a chicken can easily figure out how to get OUT, she can't for the life of her get back IN. When a chick is being pursued by a hen who intends to rip her head off, it's imperative that she have a safe haven that she can figure out how to access.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2017
  3. amanning0924

    amanning0924 Out Of The Brooder

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    I don't think your broody would accept them if she hasn't hatched some that are about the same age. I have also had issues with adding chicks a week later to a bunch that had already established that the broader was "theirs". I had to separate them until I could get a new home for everybody so they would all be "new" and set up a new order. The pecking order really can be brutal and I think your established flock might kill your new babies.
     
  4. ChxLadyCass

    ChxLadyCass Chillin' With My Peeps

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    La Junta, CO
    Oh this is SO helpful!! We were wanting to connect the brooder to the coop for both added square footage and to introduce them. Haha truant little chicks! That is such great insight! I only ordered 4 new chicks (ugh I want soooo many more) so I do not want to risk their lives one bit! We will plan to have a completely separate, but nearby pen to integrate the flock outside on warm days after a few weeks. I will be so happy to mother hen the chicks myself! Thank you for the advice!
     

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