two different sets of chicks in new flock

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by 76972clb, Apr 25, 2017.

  1. 76972clb

    76972clb Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 11, 2015
    East Texas
    I currently have my second broody hen in a short time. Sunset, first broody hen, hatched 4 chicks the on April 2nd. Goldilock's 10 eggs should hatch approx May 15th. Putting the chicks 6 weeks apart. My coop is 20'x16' with a 4'x8' instroduction coop inside that we have Sunset and her 4 chicks in at the moment. My concern is that our first set of chicks won't be ready to with with our flock when the second set of chicks hatch and that our two mommy hens won't let the two sets of chicks live in the introduction coop together.

    My question is... Should I build another introduction coop to raise the second set of chicks in? Or is there something else I can do. I'm open to any looking into any ideas you have. We will have a total of 10 hens, 1 rooster and more than that amount of chicks if they all hatch.

    Thank you for your time and suggestions.
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    What I do is to not use and introduction coop. I let my broody hens raise the chicks with the flock, much like hens have been doing since there have been chickens, even before they were initially domesticated and the way they have been raised on small farms for thousands of years. That way the hen takes care of integration. After she weans them they have to take care of their own pecking order issues, but I’ve had a couple of hens wean their chicks at three weeks in the heat of summer and those chicks did fine.

    It helps if you have room outside the coop as well as inside. That’s not so much for when the hen is taking care of them but after she weans them and they are on their own. That’s a very nice sized coop but how much room do they have outside?
     
  3. song of joy

    song of joy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 22, 2012
    Central Pennsylvania
    I let my broody hens raise their chicks with the flock, although I usually have the broody hen in a sectioned-off area of the main coop during incubation and for the first 5-7 days after the chicks hatch. After that, I open the isolation area and let the hen integrate the chicks while the chicks are still sticking close to her and while she's still very protective. In my experience, broody hens tend to be very protective of their chicks for the first two weeks, and then less so until they "wean" them.

    So . . . my advice would be to release Sunset and let her integrate the 4 chicks now. Keep a close eye on them, as they're already over 3 weeks old and the hen may be less protective then when the chicks were younger. By the time the 2nd set of chicks hatch, Sunset will probably be done mothering her chicks, so you'll probably only have one mother hen to work with at that point. Leave Goldilocks and her chicks in the isolation area until the chicks are about 1 week old, then let her integrate the chicks into the flock.

    Ideally, the above scenarios will work, but with animals anything can happen. The flock you're integrating them into is reasonably small, such that the broody hens and eventually their chicks should be able to integrate smoothly, but that is really contingent upon the available space for everyone, as well as the temperament of the hens, and the position of the broody hens in the flock (i.e., their position in the pecking order). Make sure you have multiple feeders and waterers that are well-spaced to reduce conflicts.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2017
    1 person likes this.
  4. 76972clb

    76972clb Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 11, 2015
    East Texas
    They free range in our back yard, just over a half acre. We have talked about building a covered run that connects into the coop. Right now just free ranging. I've thought about letting them free range with the flock. Sunset, the broody hen has acted like she wants to get out of the introduction coop so we've opened the door to see what happens. She stays inside.
     
  5. 76972clb

    76972clb Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 11, 2015
    East Texas
    We are in the process of building the large coop. We have just a small section to complete but we have to mill the wood and sawmill broke. We put out old coop (4'x6') in the place of the wall needing to be finished. That's where we lock the flock up at during the night. The small coop has a strip opening in the back for ventilation that a chick could fall through. I've thought about putting wire over the area. We would love to have big coop finished by the time of our chicks hatch but sawmill issues.

    What do you think about me letting the chicks out to do a supervised free range with the flock. Once the coop is finished try to integrate them. When the new chicks hatch let them hatch in the coop with safe places to hide if need be.
     

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