Question about adding chicks to a flock???

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Nelson-Collier, Dec 3, 2018.

  1. So I was always told adding straight up baby chicks to a flock of chickens is a bad idea. Not sure if it is or isn't, but you would think its not. I have a flock of 8 Golden Comet laying hens, a few months old (Got them in April), and if I got baby chicks and added them in the flock straight up, would the hens take care of them and protect them, or hurt them and attack them? I know its probably not a good idea to add them in when its cold, if at all, but it was just a thought, and I want to learn as much as I can! :old Feedback appreciated! Thanks, cheers. :thumbsup
     
    Compost King likes this.
  2. Compost King

    Compost King Crowing

    1,100
    2,568
    317
    Apr 19, 2018
    North Carolina
    Most likely they will kill them. There are circumstances that come up when you can add chicks to a mama hen.. I have never done it nor took time to research how to do it correctly but the hen has to be broody in the first place.
     
  3. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Puppy Dreaming

    32,994
    43,526
    1,172
    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    You need to wait until those chicks are strong enough and feathered enough before adding them to your flock. Never rush the integration process either. Chickens are vicious to strange chickens of any age. Chicks less than 4 weeks without proper protection and a place to escape would be killed pretty quickly.
     
  4. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Crowing

    4,493
    7,257
    472
    Jul 3, 2016
    Pac NW
    My Coop
    When you say "straight up" do you mean tossing them into the coop/run without any protection? The hens will likely kill them.

    What you can do is raise them side by side, then as the hens get used to them, start letting them intermingle with obstacles for chicks to hide behind/on top of/under.

    This is my brooder page but there's some integration notes. My last batch of chicks started off in the run at 2 days old and by 6 weeks old were in the coop living side by side with the hens. https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/short-on-time-recycle-a-prefab-brooder.73985/
     
  5. Compost King

    Compost King Crowing

    1,100
    2,568
    317
    Apr 19, 2018
    North Carolina
    I actually have a set up similar to that, 2 brooder compartments were built into one of my slap together coops. I didn't design it this way its just was the free materials I had lead to creating. When it was warm enough at night for their particular development i turned off the brooder lamp and let them fly out when they felt comfortable to join the flock. In the height of summer as young as 4 weeks were ready to join the flock. I can attest to this method working.
     
  6. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. .....

    20,193
    13,911
    751
    Mar 9, 2014
    Oregon
    My Coop
    I brood in the coop, in sight of the adult flock, and begin integration at three weeks....it works similar to the natural integration of chicks raised by a hen in the flock.
    20180408_122332.jpg
    This panel hangs from the poop board, creating my brooder space....when not needed the panel stores away and the space is just part of the coop
     
  7. Wonderful idea! I might have to try something like that.
     
  8. Compost King

    Compost King Crowing

    1,100
    2,568
    317
    Apr 19, 2018
    North Carolina
    So is that Brooder under a poop board? Am I going to owe you royalties as I copy this in the spring when I renovate one of my coops?
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: