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When is a single chick old enough to join an existing flock?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Drewzella, Oct 10, 2011.

  1. Drewzella

    Drewzella Hatching

    Sep 6, 2011
    Hi everyone,

    I'm a newbie (sorry), so I'm not too sure if this question has already been answered on here somewhere. If not then here's the problem... I have four adult mixed breed birds that are established in their little coop. Recently, I acquired a silkie chick, and raised her indoors, she is about seven or eight weeks old now and has been outside for almost a week. I built her a little "mother in law" extension on the bigger coop. Now the dilemma; the other chickens will peck the chick like its going out of style when I range them together. They seem fine when they're side by side in their coops, but they all attack when ranging. Also I live in northern Washington, and it's going to get very cold at night soon. I'm told that chickeneers up here don't do anything special to keep the birds warm in winter, because they huddle together for warmth. But something tells me this little silkie wont be welcomed into the huddle. When can I stop mothering her and just throw her in there and let 'em peck it out?

    Thanks for any help you can offer!

  2. Tiss

    Tiss Songster

    May 8, 2010

    I'm assuming the rest of your flock is full-sized or at least full grown? I'd keep her in her extension until she gets bigger especially since she may never be the others' size. When you do integrate them, be sure that she has places she can escape or elude the other birds. Right now, I have some 6 week, 12 week and 15 week chicks that were raised by broodies but are now on their own. They do a good job avoiding the bigger birds, especially when they have a bit of plywood, or even a feeder to escape behind.

    When you finally integrate them, there's bound to be some pecking, but keep a close eye and as long as they aren't too crowded, she should be okay.

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