When and how do you introduce your babies to the flock?


In the Brooder
9 Years
Aug 30, 2010
I Know have 1 week old chicks
only 2 but very excited they have been seperated from the flock and with their momma who doesnt want to leave the other eggs .. should i make her leave eggs and introduce them all to the flock .. what did you all do .. im scared they might hurt the babies thanks


8 Years
May 6, 2011
1 week is a little young. i would wait a little longer until they get bigger. they need to be able to at least be big enough to defend themselves. however if you put them in their now and monitor them for at least a day and there are no complications then go right ahead. just be careful.


13 Years
Jan 15, 2007
Northern California
I would leave momma and babies all together with the flock. She knows how to protect her babies from harm. Then you don't have to worry about re-introducing them. I have successfully had two years of all babies with the flock and only one had a scrape with an adult but recovered fully.....also knows how to stay out of the way now. Momma hens have been raising babies for centuries.


9 Years
Jun 7, 2010
Portland, OR
I always raise mine to about 5-6 weeks, until fully feathered. I will let them free range under moniter with the big chickens out in the yard for a week or two first. Then I put a large dog crate into the big chicken run and keep them in there for a bit, then letting them out with the flock during the day. ALWAYS introduce AT LEAST 2 at a time. They need security buddies and will form there own little flock until they become acclimated. When they are ready, they put themselves to bed in the big girl coop instead of the dog crate. Then I just remove the crate. Works like a charm and I have never had a problem with picking or bullying or anything.


In the Brooder
8 Years
Aug 22, 2011
I liked the dog crate idea and have been using it to introduce two older hens to my flock of 6 pullets. The older hens are at the top of the pecking order - no question. It's been over a month and the old gals still go to the crate. Funny enough, they use the nesting box in the coop to lay their eggs. I was hoping that they would join the young girls(4 months old now) but still go back to the crate. I'm new at this but introducing hens seems to take quite a while. For a hen already established in a flock seems an easier prospect but perhaps stressful for her to protect the her chicks constantly.

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