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When do I introduce new chicks to the older flock?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by debkichline, Oct 16, 2014.

  1. debkichline

    debkichline Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 28, 2014
    Stupid me. My son's science teacher wanted some eggs to incubate so the kids could watch. He removed part of the shell so the kids could watch the chicks develop. Really neat experience for the kids who all live in a city! Not so neat when the teacher expects me to take the chicks back (when I clearly stated I had enough birds.)

    Now I have 3 mostly fledged chicks under a heat lamp in my basement. They don't have feathers on their heads yet and I estimate they are about 3 - 4 weeks old. The existing birds were chicks this spring. I have none who are brooding as I remove eggs daily. What is the best way to introduce these guys to the existing flock? I know they need another week or so for feathers to come in but want to be prepared. Also, they will be going out to daily temps in the upper 50's and overnights in the upper 30's.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    It is best to wait until the new chicks are about the same size as the older birds (usually close to four months with standard size birds) to actually combine the flocks, and to introduce them before hand a long period of seeing but no touching through wire seem to work best, ie dividing the coop into two sections or keeping the new/younger ones in a cage inside the coup for a couple of weeks to a month at least. The chickens will get to know each other and sort of work out a pecking order before actually coming in contact with each other. Letting them free range together is a good idea and should help if you can... It will take a couple of weeks to get the pecking order sorted out. There is a nice article in the Learning Center on integrating flocks you might like to check out, the part about actually combining them is after the quarantine section https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/adding-to-your-flock
    With putting them outside, as long as they have a draft free dry coop the chicks should be mostly feathered by about six weeks and should be OK unless it gets really cold.
     
  3. debkichline

    debkichline Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 28, 2014
    Thank you! The other alternative is finding another flock owner who wants 3 more birds! LOL
     

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