Point Me To The Right Thread: Introducing New Chicks To My Flock

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Uncle Marc, Jan 21, 2014.

  1. Uncle Marc

    Uncle Marc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A couple of red foxes stole six of my hens. They were hatched in February of 2012 and were producing very nicely all year. I want to replace them and maybe add a few more. I will be getting day old chicks and am sure there is a very good post on the best way to introduce the new ones to the flock after they have fully feathered out.

    Can you point me there or maybe, offer some tips here. Thinking I'd like to order them next week.
     
  2. ChickenCurt

    ChickenCurt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I wouldn't add chicks to an established flock unless you have a broody hen with some chicks already as they can't count. If your flock is new and still chicks themselves you shouldn't have a problem if they're nearly the same size.
     
  3. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    It's better to wait until the chicks are more or less fully grown, before adding them to an established flock. What you can do in-between the time when they outgrow the brooder and while they are still growing up, is keep them outside with the older chickens, but in a separate area, within the existing coop and run, if possible. This will allow the original flock members and the newbies to get to know each other before you allow them to mingle and it will help cut back on the initial bullying and pecking when they reestablish their pecking order and put the newbies in their place. Also see here:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/adding-to-your-flock
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2014
  4. wsmith

    wsmith Chillin' With My Peeps

    To add to what Sumi said, If you are able, you might consider building a "creep gate" between the older chickens and the young birds. This allows the young birds venture out into the flock, and escape if need be to a place the older, bigger chickens can't go. I have used this method successfully, and will be adding another creep gate to one of my growout pens this year.
    Here is a photo of my creep gate:

    [​IMG]
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Well THAT is an interesting idea!! Guess I may have read about it, but first time seeing one.
     
  6. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    It looks like a great idea to me.
     
  7. -BOGGS-

    -BOGGS- Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm going to build a creep gate also for my newbies but in the mean time I'm letting them spend as time together as possible. (Supervised of course)[​IMG]
    my older hens don't seem to mind [​IMG]
    however.. My roo is the one I watch extra close. He gives them the evil eye.LOL[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2014
  8. melslp13

    melslp13 Out Of The Brooder

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    Wow thanks for the picture! That looks like a really nice setup. We have our 6 week olds in the coop with the big girls but they have a penned off area just for them with a hole small enough that they can escape in and out but the big girls can't follow. Then in the run I put in a milk crate with a hole just large enough for the littles to get in and with a brick "roof" so the big girls can't peck between the slats and would give them shelter if one of them get's trapped in there by a big girl and the weather turns rainy. Started this yesterday with them after 2 weeks of being walled off and just visible to the big girls.
     

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