When should I introduce incubator chicks to a mother hen who already has older chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by moparchick, Dec 13, 2012.

  1. moparchick

    moparchick Hatching

    Dec 13, 2012
    We have just had two chick hatch in our incubator. Our hen already has two chicks that are about four weeks old.
    I read somewhere it is best to introduce new chicks to a mother hen at night. What I'm worried about is our hens run free range. And I don't think the younger chicks will be able to keep up with them. Should I keep the hen and her chicks in their hen house, until they are older?

  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland

    It is easier to introduce chicks to a hen at night, but with her chicks already a month old, I don't think it'll work out for you. The newborns will have trouble keeping up and she will very likely reject them. You can try, but be prepared to raise them yourself.
  3. The Chickeneer

    The Chickeneer ~A Morning's Crow~

    I wouldn't introduce them to her. Her chicks are a month old, and i guarantee she will reject the little ones. When you introduce chicks to a hen, you know she will reject them when she starts pecking at them. if you leave them with her at night, they'l probably be dead by morning. Sorry...but this has happened to me soo many times, i needed to warn you. Raise the chicks yourself, in a brooder, and the chicks will have a better chance at living. I have had plenty of hens that rejected chicks and pecked them to death. Plus, even if she did accept them, she would be wondering around most of the time with the others,leaving them cold. New hatched chicks are sat on by their mothers for most of the day for the first 4 days, and she won't be able to do that for them because she needs to watch her older chicks.

    And [​IMG] its always great to have a new member.
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2012
  4. Matt A NC

    Matt A NC Crowing

    Feb 22, 2007
    Morganton, NC
    She is already raising her chicks. New ones that small would be rejected or flat out killed.

    You can give a hen chicks that just hatched chicks, buy only the first couple days.

  5. moparchick

    moparchick Hatching

    Dec 13, 2012
    Thanks everyone for you comments - it's much appreciated :)
    It never occurred to me that the mother hen might kill them, thanks for the warning me.
    I will have to read up on rearing them, myself :)

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by