when can my babies get aunties?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by farmergal, Sep 4, 2008.

  1. farmergal

    farmergal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 21, 2008
    Nor Cal
    My little girls (and one boy) are two weeks old. I love them to death and spend WAY too much time watching them, but with all this work, I'm really wanting to get some eggs sooner than four months! Someone sells young laying hens around here, so I think I'm gonna try and pick a few up so I can have some fresh eggs... but the question is, how old should my chicks be before they're around adult birds? when is it okay for me to bring home laying hens to a shared coop? (so I can get some eggs, yum?)

    thanks so much! all the people here are awesome and have been sooo helpful... my little peeps really appreciate it.
     
  2. keljonma

    keljonma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    If you bring home birds, put them in quarantine for 30 days to make sure they aren't bringing bugs and germs with them. Then you could start introducing them to the youngsters, who will, of course, be older.
     
  3. farmergal

    farmergal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 21, 2008
    Nor Cal
    I saw a post where someone said three weeks... that sounds too young.... can that be right?

    I've got 30 2-week-olds and was thinking of getting 2 or 3 laying hens. would the little ones have strength in numbers do you think?
     
  4. keljonma

    keljonma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    I think if you quarantine the new birds for one month, your chicks will be one month older. If you don't quarantine, you are only asking for trouble and heartache, imo.

    They will be more ready to be introduced to the older birds by then. Introduced - slowly, not thrown together.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2008
  5. farmergal

    farmergal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 21, 2008
    Nor Cal
    oops, sorry -- looks like we posted simultaneously before. when I'm quarantining the adults, do they have to be kept 100% separate -- not even able to access the chicks through fencing? (like, if the hens were free-range, and the chicks were kept in a run)? also, am I looking for something while the hens are quarantined (diseases, etc.)?
     
  6. keljonma

    keljonma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    Quote:Yes, 100% separate. I would never let new birds have access to free range until after 30 day quarantine is over. If you're not sure this is the correct thing to do, please do a search here on BYC about marek's disease or worms or the 100 other diseases that love poultry.

    Quote:Yes. Start a flock journal. Keep notes separately for each bird. I highly recommend this. We have done this for all our birds. Write down EVERYTHING....

    poop - what it looked like, was it smelly, bloody, watery, etc. Remember that everytime you feed them something different it will effect their droppings.

    behavior - friendly, nasty, withdrawn, inquisitive, lethargic, sneezing, wheezing, gasping for air, piggy eater, hardly eats, pecked on by others, etc.

    egg laying behaviors - easy layer, has a hard time, color and shape of eggs and shells.
    eyes - are they bright and clear or oozy and gunk-covered
    nostrils - clean or junky
    feathers - in good shape or ratty looking
    feet & shanks - clean, smooth, or rough and bumpy

    Look for creepy crawlies on their skin and feather shafts. Look for worms in their droppings. If you feel inclined, have a fecal test done by your vet.

    And ALWAYS wash your hands before and after handling either group of birds. That way you help prevent spreading something from the chicks to the adults and vice versa.

    edited for typos.....
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2008
  7. farmergal

    farmergal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 21, 2008
    Nor Cal
    keljonma -- you've been so helpful! thanks for your wise words of advice -- I'll quarantine the hens in a temp coop and run well away from the little ones, and introduce them after a month.
     
  8. keljonma

    keljonma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    farmergal, if you lose a chick and it could have been prevented, you kick yourself a thousand times...... good luck!
     

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