When to introduce chicks to hens?

BookThief

In the Brooder
May 22, 2020
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I'm very new to having birds, and I need a little help. I have 2 RIR hens, about 3-4 years old, they where gifted from a friend. I also have 15 chicks and 2 ducklings. 5 of the chicks are 4 weeks old, the rest are 3 weeks. The littles are currently in my garage, and I know it's early, but I want to be prepared. When should I start introducing the chicks/ducklings to my hens? and how? Should I build a second run that is next to the first (so they get use to each other, and the hens can't harm the little ones)? I have to expand the current run anyway, for when the chicks are older.
 

Eggscaping

Enjoying Life!
Dec 4, 2018
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Lakeside, Oregon
Then you've had some experience with ducklings, and know that they have to have water, yes? Ducks have to have water to eat...I'm not a duck person myself but it's something about they have to mix the water with dry food? They will also want water to swim in.
But your idea of the side-by-side run sounds good. What you want to do is let them see each other all the time but without being able to mingle until the "old"kids are so used to seeing the "new" kids that they don't really react to them. Having a "safe door" is good, some members have had great success with them - that's where you have a small door or portal that the chicks can get through but not the older ones - that way if someone is being chased or badly picked on, they can retreat into a 'safe zone'. We did the "look but don't touch" with our mix of older and younger chicks an it worked just fine.
 

BookThief

In the Brooder
May 22, 2020
19
41
49
Thank you for your reply. Yeah, I'm not too worried about the ducks, I just want to make sure everyone it safe in the introductions. That's a good idea of having a "safe door." I just may have too look into that. I appreciate it
 

Eggscaping

Enjoying Life!
Dec 4, 2018
1,605
10,316
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Lakeside, Oregon
Thank you for your reply. Yeah, I'm not too worried about the ducks, I just want to make sure everyone it safe in the introductions. That's a good idea of having a "safe door." I just may have too look into that. I appreciate it
Cool! If you look in the forums under the raising chickens topics, I think you will find several pictures people have shared showing how, exactly they did the 'safe door' thing. There is lots of ingenuity there!
 

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