Baby chicks with other chickens

by Zach
(Cordele, ga)

Question

Baby chicks with other chickens: How old do baby chicks have to be before they are put in with other chickens?

Answer
There is no simple answer for this. A lot depends on your adult flock and how they react to new chickens. I prefer not to introduce pullets to a group with adult roosters until they are near full size.

I don’t know if you are introducing cockerels as well. The adult flock is dominant and will most likely see any other chickens as intruders. The smaller and younger the chickens, the more likely they are to be bullied as the adults insist on pecking order.

You didn’t say that these chicks have a mother that is raising them, so I am assuming not. Sometimes in a flock you have an extremely broody and motherly hen.

If you have such a chicken (and your chicks don’t have their own) you might try putting her in the pen with the chicks and see if she will adopt them. If she does you could introduce the chicks much earlier, with their “mother”, who will protect them and help them have status in the flock.

There are just no guarantees with chickens. You didn’t say if your chickens free range. Free ranging chicks are at high risk of attack from cats and hawks.

I’ve always kept mine in a large covered pen and safe til near full grown. I bring them grass clippings and fresh treats, for a better diet than just dry feed and seeds.

Click here to post comments

Return to Baby Chick Questions.

When to introduce chicks to adult chickens?

by Eric
(Pleasant Hill, Oregon)

Question
When to introduce chicks to adult chickens? When is a good time to introduce baby chicks to my adult chickens? My adult road island red chickens are vary sweet and my chicks are stinking the house up. they are almost fully feathered.

Answer
You can introduce them anytime you are able to spend a day or more watching and making sure the adults are kind to them. You never can tell how chickens will respond to little ones invading their territory.

Some hens may be motherly and some may try to chase them off, possibly harming or even killing them in the process. I make it a rule not to mix the old and young till the young are close to full grown.

For now, they should be on a grower feed, which is different from your layer feed, so it would be hard to keep them or your adults on the right feed.

It’s usually a good idea to have a very large cage or safe pen to finish raising the chicks outdoors, where you can continue to offer a heat lamp during these unpredictable Spring days and nights.

Smaller chickens are at a big disadvantage when it comes to pecking order; doesn’t matter if they are Banties or young layers, male or female. Inexperienced chicks trying to compete for food and space can get harmed when not introduced with a hen that is a member of the flock.

Click here to post comments

Return to Baby Chick Questions.

Custom Search