What is the easiest way to add chicks?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by rugbratmom, Apr 20, 2016.

  1. rugbratmom

    rugbratmom New Egg

    6
    0
    9
    Apr 9, 2016
    A few weeks ago I got 2 chicks as a birthday gift. They are currently housed in a metal dog crate in my living room but eventually I need to move them outside with my 2 adult hens. The chicks are 3 weeks old and due to the beautiful weather lately are only needing the heat lamp at night. When they are 5 weeks old and a little more feathered they will move out to the back porch. My hens should be able to hear them peeping from there. They will stay there until they are weaned off the heat light. Then the plan is to set their cage up inside the chicken run where my ladies can see then and get to know them but not actually get to them. Then after about 2 weeks of that I hope to let them share the run giving the chicks plenty of places to hide and an extra feeder and waterer to be sure everybody gets fed. I will add some new "toys" for my ladies and hope that they find them more interesting than the chicks. Clara's favorite is a peeled cucumber "tetherball" and Fancy's favorite is a mirror. I will leave their cage in the run with the door open so ther can still sleep there if they are more comfortable. Then I will eventually move the chicks into the coop at night and hope for the best. I am going to add another roosting bar just in case my old ladies don't want to share their roost with the young whippersnappers.

    Is there anything I should plan to do differently? I have never done this before and I am a bit nervous. I want to put them together with the least amount of trauma possible. I would appreciate any advice anybody can give on adding chicks to a flock.
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Let It Snow Premium Member

    18,312
    7,220
    516
    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    Sounds like you have a good plan. If things get rough remove the young ones and try again the next day until they are tolerated.
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    36,765
    10,535
    686
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC!

    You're on the right track for sure......
    another thing you might consider is a small door on the crate that the chicks can get thru but the hens cannot.

    This shows the first iteration with a creep panel and a huddle box.
    I later removed the crate door and lowered the fencing section with a corner bent up for chicks access.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

    31,637
    24,466
    736
    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    1 person likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by