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Raising chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by alrad81, Nov 11, 2013.

  1. alrad81

    alrad81 Hatching

    Nov 11, 2013
    Can you raise new chicks with older hens in the same coop..Wanting to buy more chicks, but want to keep them in the same coop..
    Thanks for your help...

  2. Can be done, sometimes the older hen's will peck at the small ones, I have lost a few, but is minimal,
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    Some people do that a lot without a whole lot of problems. Some people have a lot of dead chicks when they try that. Broody hens often wean their chicks at 4 weeks and leave them on their own to manage with the flock. A lot depends on the personality of your individual chickens, your facilities size and how they are set up, and your management techniques.

    I don’t know where you are and what weather you are dealing with but you probably need to keep them in a brooder until they feather out enough to handle your weather. In that brooder they should be protected from the older chickens, even if your brooder is in the coop like mine is.

    If you can house your chicks next to the adults for a week or so before they mix so they can get used to them, you can greatly improve your chances. So that is recommendation #1. Let them get used to each other.

    One way chickens in a flock have learned to live together is that the weaker runs away from the stronger if there is a conflict, or they just avoid the stronger to start with. Your younger ones are going to be way weaker than the hens. They need plenty of room to get away and stay away from the adults. It also helps to have places they can hide behind or under, or perches up high enough they can get away from the adults. Different coops and runs help, even if they are attached where they can go from one to another. Another trick is to have a safe place, somewhere the chicks can get through a small opening to a safe place the adults cannot follow.

    Your biggest risk is that a chick gets trapped in a corner or against a wall or fence and can’t get away. Often they will just hunker down while the adult pecks them to death when they get caught like that.

    It also helps to have separate feeding and watering stations so the young can eat without challenging the older ones.

    I house mine side by side from Day 1. About 8 weeks of age I turn my young ones loose so they can mix with the adults. I haven’t lost one yet so I’m probably being a bit conservative, but I’m OK with that. I have lots of room and different places they can go to get away from the adults. Some people merge them earlier. If your space is tight, it might be better to wait until the chicks are basically grown before you merge them. We all have our unique situations. There is no one perfect age that covers us all.

    Good luck!
  4. realsis

    realsis Crazy for Silkies

    Jan 17, 2013
    Excellent advive given from above post!! hens have been known to litterly scalp the chicks to death so I would take the advice of the above post and keep them seprately. Honestly it wouldn't be worth the risk of her killing them. Chickens can feel very threatened by other chickens even babies. So I would
    follow the above posts instructions. And when its
    time to intergrate them follow above posts
    instructions for that two to intergrate the flock slowly
    and seprately when the babies are older where they
    can see each other yet not hurt the growing birds
    then finally after they are used to each other you will
    intergrate the flock as the babies are older . Hope this helps and best wishes for your new babies :)
  5. I saw in a lot of posts that I am very shortcoming on protectiveness even on the fact if hen's are nor productive anymore, I don;t intervene a lot, as long as I save them from outside predators and provide enough feed and water, safe nighty night place, it works for me. The main reason is= I am not always their when problems arise, Usually my chicks free range after receiving their morning meal, at night I make sure all are safe in, and close up.

    So ya, wish you luck

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