When to put a new chick in with the others

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Lambydoodle, Feb 16, 2012.

  1. Lambydoodle

    Lambydoodle In the Brooder

    May 9, 2011

    We took a couple of silkie eggs into the house as it was so cold. They hatched but the small one dies after a few days. I have kept the other one in the house under a lamp. It is a month old now and has feathers and absolutely fine. I have removed the heat lamp to get it more accustomed to the climate. My next plan is to move it outside possibly into an empty stable and put it inside a spare mini coop, again to acclimatise it. My plan is to at some point then move this cage next to my silkie coop so they get used to seeing each other before I out the little one in? How will the other hens and cockerel react to this little guy going in?

    Also, one of the silkies is sitting on four eggs (they get broody really easily) and they should hatch in a few days unless the freezing weather killed the chicks. Do I just leave them in with the other silky hen and cockerel or should I remove her from the others. How does a cockerel react to the chicks? I have had chickens for a couple of years but the cockerel is a relatively new addition so the whole chick thing is new to me. Any help would be great. Thank you.

  2. mandelyn

    mandelyn Crowing

    Aug 30, 2009
    Mt Repose, OH
    My Coop
    At 4 weeks and alone, the chick still needs the heat lamp. A lower temperature is fine, but it may need a little extra warmth.

    If the other eggs are due to hatch soon, is there a way to add a divider to your brooder and put the new chicks on the side with the lamp, where the older one can see them but not get to them?

    How the other birds will react to the chick varies... sometimes the rooster helps, and can be excellent dads. Something they don't, and they can be mean. You'll have to watch, or just take the chicks.

    With the little chicks still out there, when you add the the older one, it may not go well at all. It won't have any friends.

    Do you have a place for after it's 8 weeks old, where it can be visible to the rest of the flock? They need to be able to see it for awhile before you add it, to reduce the odds of it getting harassed or injured.

    I don't know if Silkies are better about changes in the flock than other breeds.

    When I have a lone chick from a hatch I always try to find another chick as soon as I can that is about the same age, so that they can bond and have company. Dividing the brooder, just like I would divide the coop, for new additions. One pullet chick hatched alone, I didn't have another chick for her for a month. By the time more eggs hatched, she was a lot bigger. And human too, the little chick on the other side of the brooder freaked her out. She wanted held and babied, she was so afraid.

    It took another 3-4 weeks for her to realize she might be a chicken after all, and to buddy up with the other chick.

    Try to get the chick some friends, either these expected babies, or another Silkie you can find that's about her age. It will have an easier time being added to the coop if there are other birds it already knows. It won't be the focal point for any pecking. Solo birds can have a real hard time acclimating.
  3. Lambydoodle

    Lambydoodle In the Brooder

    May 9, 2011
    Thanks for the advice. I have a rabbit hutch and run I am converting to a coop and am putting this alongside the other silky coop so they can see each other. I am concerned about her being on her own so am going to see if I can get a chick from the local wildfowl place to put with her so as you say she will not be alone. For the time being I am moving the rabit coop into a stable with the heat lamp still - she is currently in a bedroom which really is not ideal not she is getting bigger and smellier.

    Heaven knows how many I am going to end up with at this rate!

    It's great fun, just a shame the chick that hatched with her died, but it struggled from the start and had splayed legs. Although I cured that she was still not strong enough.

    Off to find a chicken friend then.....

    Thanks again

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by