New Chicks Introduction

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Fire26, Jul 5, 2016.

  1. Fire26

    Fire26 Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 30, 2015
    I currently have a flock of 11 chickens that are about 1 1/2yrs old.
    I have 7 new birds to introduce to my flock this year that just hit the 8wk old mark.
    Can I simply place them in with the older birds?
    Don't I need to keep them on Starter Chick Feed?
    I only have one coop and fenced in yard area.

  2. CountryGirl1120

    CountryGirl1120 Out Of The Brooder

    When I had to introduce my new birds this year I put a dog crate into the coop for the new ones. The older ones got to see them and get used to them for a couple weeks before I let the littles out of the crate. At that point I had everyone on an all flock feed until the littles got old enough for layer pellets. I'm sure you could just put them all together but slow introduction is usually best. I think it helps the re establishing of the pecking order to not be as bad.
  3. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Chicken Obsessed

    Oh ya, it will be a peck fest if you just throw them together and the young ones will be the receivers. The look but don't touch method is recommended. And usually actual integration when they are close to the same size. I have 3 BR that were 8 weeks older when I decided to introduce my 10, 8 week old's. Even after more than a week of look but don't touch, the BR bully them, chasing them away from the feed and chasing grabbing feathers every chance they got. Now 4 weeks later thing are starting to settle down. The BR were in a small coop, I moved the littler ones in the large coop and let them settle in before adding the BR. I can tell now at 12 weeks the young ones are starting to wonder what they are running from. So I would only do it after a period of visual separation and then with supervision. Provide lots of visual interference or places for the smaller ones to hide. Really I don't recommend it, but... who knows. The #s were in favor of the younger ones in my instance and it didn't help a ton. But it can be done. Also, breed may play a small role.

    I use an all flock feed because I have mixed ages and cockerels and the amount of calcium in layer feed will cause kidney issues. It is ok for you others to eat the starter, but not vice versa. I provide oyster shell on the side, only the ones who need it will use it. You can always put aside your layer feed until they are old enough, although freshness may be an issue at that point.

    Best wishes!

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