1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Possible to introduce new chicks to existing flock?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ChickenMama18, Mar 7, 2010.

  1. ChickenMama18

    ChickenMama18 Chillin' With My Peeps

    326
    0
    119
    Aug 31, 2009
    Nor Cal
    Is it possible to introduce new chicks to an existing flock? Is there a tried and true method or does it just depend on the personalities of the flock?
     
  2. looptloop

    looptloop Chillin' With My Peeps

    272
    1
    121
    Feb 21, 2010
    Pilot Hill, CA
    Great question! I'll be watching this thread as I am also wondering this.
     
  3. babyblue

    babyblue Chillin' With My Peeps

    697
    0
    129
    Sep 23, 2009
    After qt the best way to to put the new in a pen or cage where they can see and meet the old without getting into fights. after a week or two of that what I did was have together hang out time. any old hen that picked on the new younger ones got a water pistal squirt to the face. after only a few days of hangouts there was zero picking on and everybody was happy. you are the top chicken and you say who may fight and bully each other.
     
  4. Elite Silkies

    Elite Silkies Overrun With Chickens

    5,411
    14
    251
    Jun 17, 2009
    Oklahoma
    My Coop
    I just put 11 Aussie's about 2 months old in with the Adult flock of Aussies. I didnt' have any problems at all. But, I don't know if it's because they are the same breed or not.

    The roo wouldn't let them out of the coop for a couple of days, but now he lets them out. I think he was just schooling them a little. Also, I think most of them are little pullets, so not sure is that makes a difference. But, the one that is a roo for sure, he hasn't tried to hurt him either.

    Aussies are also a docile breed.
     
  5. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    39,559
    1,123
    506
    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    I put mine in an area where they could see each other, but not peck. They were like that for 7 weeks until the babies were big enough. At 13.5 weeks, I put them in with the main flock at night. (WARNING: Do not put a rooster in first!!!! I did and he freaked out with his alarm call and freaked all the hens out.) Anyhow, we survived that. The next morning I made sure I was here to watch them closely. The babies hid in the coop for 2 weeks, and the adults would stay outside most of the time, but there were scuffles throughout the day. After 2 weeks, things settled down and the babies started roaming the run. Things are peaceful now for the most part. I do have a pullet trying to make her way up the pecking order, she's been taking on one of my hens. The babies still do stick together like a mini flock within a flock. But they ALL come for scratch!

    Bottom line is the babies need to be about the same size as your hens. Otherwise, they really can't defend themselves. I did have to move my special needs rooster out after a week. They pecked him pretty badly in the head. He could not get away since he couldn't roost. I've since found that his vision isn't the greatest. He can see, but frequently misses what he's pecking at.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. halo

    halo Got The Blues

    6,069
    30
    288
    Nov 22, 2007
    Florida
    My Coop
    I have a pretty good sized coop with a large run, which opens to up free range when I deem it safe. When I put youngsters in the coop, I have an area under the community laying box that only the small ones can run under. I have the food and water next to the box. They learn pretty quickly to run under their safe haven spot. When the herd goes out into the main run, or to free range, the smaller ones come out and eat and drink and get the feel for the coop. When they get scared, they run under cover. Within a few days, they are running out with the flock, but can still get under cover for another month or so if need be. Ive not had a problem with this system, they all end up getting along.

    That being said, I have mostly rocks and marans, which are pretty mellow girls.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. ChickenMama18

    ChickenMama18 Chillin' With My Peeps

    326
    0
    119
    Aug 31, 2009
    Nor Cal
    I really like the barred rocks. We had one as a chick but she turned out to be a roo and we can't have roo's here in the city. I was tempted to wait it out to see if he would be loud...but then I didn't want the kids to get too attached and have to say goodbye. They love their chickens! We have 4 buffs and a old english game bantam. Would barred rocks be a good (personality wise) breed to introduce? Is there a better breed in your opinion? We have one buff that is a plucker and we just learned that peep blinders might help with that. I'm told it keeps them from seeing right in front of them so they can't pluck. Since we have a plucker do you think she'll be more likely to hurt any newbies we introduce? Or should that work itself out with the blinders?

    Thanks guys, I seriously don't know what I'd do without this site!
     
  8. mcqueen420

    mcqueen420 Out Of The Brooder

    15
    0
    22
    Dec 17, 2009
    Lake Elsinore, CA
    One big thing that helps is numbers. The more new ones you introduce the more the aggression is dispersed. Individuals aren't targeted as much when it is a large group rather that just one or two new ones.
     
  9. Keri78

    Keri78 Chillin' With My Peeps

    849
    3
    141
    Oct 17, 2009
    NJ
    I just added four new hens(9mths. old) to my existing flock with no issues. I have four buff orps and two black banty frizzle cochins and one standard black cochin roo and they seem to have accepted the new girls with no issues. My "new girls" are three araucana's and one cuckoo maran. I just brought them into the barn at night and they all slept together and woke up together the next morning in the same barn. I have noticed some feathers have been pecked and ruffled a little on the new girls but I expected that they would est. a new order. I'm keeping them all locked up in the barn together for a few days(going for 5 days) before I let them all out to free range together. As for baby chicks I always wait until they are 8-10 weeks old(depending on the weather) and then keep them in a seperate tractor with attached hutch so this way they can see the others but are still safe. I have also in the past put them in with a few banty hens and that seemed to be a good transition to the flock as well. I guess it's all trial and error just be around to keep a close eye on things and you'll make out fine.
     
  10. ChickenMama18

    ChickenMama18 Chillin' With My Peeps

    326
    0
    119
    Aug 31, 2009
    Nor Cal
    My daughter would really like to get more bantams. Would it be harder to introduce bantams to an established flock with regular sized birds? We do have one bantam already. I'm thinking with their smaller size it might be harder for them to defend themselves if sometihng went wrong? What do you guys think?
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by