New to Baby chicks. How to add to existing flock

ZenSyd

In the Brooder
May 24, 2019
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I just purchased 4 chicks and want to know if I should offer them to my broody hen in my flock of 6 girls. If that could work, I have a giant dog crate that I was going to convert to an addional temp coop for the chicks. Should I put her in there to see if she will accept them? I live in Wisconsin so I could keep this indoors for the time being.
Right now the chicks are in a tub with a heat lamp.
 

MillersFarm

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Jun 3, 2016
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How old are the chicks? If they're more than a couple days old then i'd say no to giving them to your broody. The best way to introduce them is a look/no touchy pen within their pen or coop. After a few weeks of this you can try letting them out and watch how they mingle with each other. but i would suggest waiting until they're big enough to run away or defend themselves from any bullies before introducing them.
 

ZenSyd

In the Brooder
May 24, 2019
14
40
44
How long has she been broody?
How old are the chicks? If they're more than a couple days old then i'd say no to giving them to your broody. The best way to introduce them is a look/no touchy pen within their pen or coop. After a few weeks of this you can try letting them out and watch how they mingle with each other. but i would suggest waiting until they're big enough to run away or defend themselves from any bullies before introducing them.
Thank you. They hatchedMonday/Tuesday
 

rosemarythyme

Free Ranging
Jul 3, 2016
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You could try it, but the chicks might be too old to accept it at this point. You'd be best off slipping them in under her at night. If you have a coop cam, definitely keep a close eye on them.
 

ZenSyd

In the Brooder
May 24, 2019
14
40
44
Coop Cam sounds amazing. We do not have that. We will need to build a larger coop this summer. i guess I will just progress the old fashioned way and intro them once it’s warmer and they are feathered. In a few weeks, on nice days, I can put the dog crate out in the sun for a while.
 

aart

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Nov 27, 2012
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More than a month. Actually ever since they started laying this spring. She keeps building nests and trying to lay clutches away from the coop.
If she doesn't accept the chicks, I'd break the broody.

In case you don't know how to do that:
If you don't want her to hatch out chicks, best to break her broodiness promptly.
My experience goes about like this: After her setting for 3 days and nights in the nest (or as soon as I know they are broody), I put her in a wire dog crate (24"L x 18"W x 21"H) with smaller wire on the bottom but no bedding, set up on a couple of 4x4's right in the coop or run with feed and water.

I used to let them out a couple times a day, but now just once a day in the evening(you don't have to) and she would go out into the run, drop a huge turd, race around running, take a vigorous dust bath then head back to the nest... at which point I put her back in the crate. Each time her outings would lengthen a bit, eating, drinking and scratching more and on the 3rd afternoon she stayed out of the nest and went to roost that evening...event over, back to normal tho she didn't lay for another week or two. Or take her out of crate daily very near roosting time(30-60 mins) if she goes to roost great, if she goes to nest put her back in crate.

Chunk of 2x4 for a 'roost' was added to crate floor after pic was taken.
1585312115691.png
 

ZenSyd

In the Brooder
May 24, 2019
14
40
44
If she doesn't accept the chicks, I'd break the broody.

In case you don't know how to do that:
If you don't want her to hatch out chicks, best to break her broodiness promptly.
My experience goes about like this: After her setting for 3 days and nights in the nest (or as soon as I know they are broody), I put her in a wire dog crate (24"L x 18"W x 21"H) with smaller wire on the bottom but no bedding, set up on a couple of 4x4's right in the coop or run with feed and water.

I used to let them out a couple times a day, but now just once a day in the evening(you don't have to) and she would go out into the run, drop a huge turd, race around running, take a vigorous dust bath then head back to the nest... at which point I put her back in the crate. Each time her outings would lengthen a bit, eating, drinking and scratching more and on the 3rd afternoon she stayed out of the nest and went to roost that evening...event over, back to normal tho she didn't lay for another week or two. Or take her out of crate daily very near roosting time(30-60 mins) if she goes to roost great, if she goes to nest put her back in crate.

Chunk of 2x4 for a 'roost' was added to crate floor after pic was taken.
View attachment 2063931
Thanks for this helpful info. She may not be that broody because we took her eggs away and she was in the coop last night with the others. We live in Wisconsin so I’m afraid that the chicks might die if she leaves them even for a short while. So, I’m thinking that just raising those chicks in the brooder is the best way for us right now. I should have been better prepared but alas I was not.
 
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