When to introduce 1 baby chick to flock.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by MeatKing, Jun 6, 2011.

  1. MeatKing

    MeatKing Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have 12 laying hens, and ordered 50 meaties. While slipped in with my meaties is a Columbian Rock X chick. When is the best time to put her in with other layers? She's about 4 weeks old now.. I just don't want her to get picked on. All the other layers are dual purpose breeds. Mostly Rocks, with 3 Ausrolorphs (sp) Thank you so much for your help [​IMG]
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

    34,028
    456
    448
    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    The safe thing to do is wait til she's adult size, around 4 months. I'd probably fix up some sort of chicken wire pen in the coop for her, leave her there for several days, then try letting them outdoors together, carefully. I actually had a broody decide she was the mama of a few chicks of the same age. She got off her nest and clucked repeatedly (as if to her baby chicks) paced up and down the fence of the pen the chicks were in. So I (hesitantly) let them together, and sure enough, they acted like a typical chicken family, and she "raised" them for a few weeks -- and took care of the integration for me.
     
  3. Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Hangin Wit My Peeps AutumnBreezeChickens.com

    6,396
    10
    263
    Apr 20, 2008
    Birnamwood, Wisconsin
    She's going to be picked on no matter how old because she's 'new' but if you add her before she's an adult she may be killed.
     
  4. SarahBeth9394

    SarahBeth9394 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 23, 2008
    We put two SLW's that were 6 weeks old in with our other ladies that were 12 weeks old. Doesn't sound like a big difference but the older ladies were almost 3x's the size of the chicks. So I set up a separate feeder and waterer and leaned an old shelf board up against the fence that the chicks could get behind but the older ones couldn't. I put some hay down on the other side of the coop as well. There were a few pecks of course but the babies made their way into the coop and after a week were cuddling up with the big ladies. They are still at the bottom of the pecking order but they are starting to get right in the middle of the group when its treat time.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by