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Author Topic: Chicks and introducing them to an existing flock  (Read 2549 times)

elizabethm

  • Joined Jan 2008
  • North Wales
    • gwenoldy
Chicks and introducing them to an existing flock
« on: May 26, 2008, 11:23:08 pm »
Hi
I have a broody Welsummer sitting on twelve eggs, eight Frisian bantams and four Welsummer/bantam cross.  She is sitting very determinedly and about ten or twelve days in.  we have made her a broody coop and need to lift her every day for food and water.  We thought we would make a run for her and however many chicks she ends up with.
I would like to put her and the chicks ultimately with our existing Frisian bantam cockerel and two hens so that we only have to run one henhouse and run.  Any advice on when we can do that?  Is it an ok idea?  The hens are utterly free range maybe four days out of seven when we are around and have a house and run where they are enclosed in the day when we are are not about enough to deter predators.

Any advice very much appreciated as I have failed to find any instruction about this so far!
Elizabeth
Voss Electric Fence

compost

  • Joined Jan 2008
Re: Chicks and introducing them to an existing flock
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2008, 08:10:35 pm »
i wait until the chicks are mature and then gradually integrate them by having the two sets of birds together but separated by fencing. otherwise the strongest attacks the weakest resulting in seriously damaged birds. I have them like this for at least two weeks and try to feed them at the boundary to help them get used to each other. when i cant see anymore threatening behaviour i let them mix but only under supervision until i'm sure. i have had a bird with a large chunk missing out of the back of its neck where it had been attacked so many times for being an outsider.

now ducks on the other hand are cool about it all and anyone is welcomed into the flock!

all the best
cesca

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Chicks and introducing them to an existing flock
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2008, 10:46:22 pm »
I've never hatched chicks under a broody, always in an incubator - so no Mum. I've never tried to put anything younger than POL in with the laying flock - once they start laying, I integrate them. Actually, I start earlier than that - the Marans are 6 weeks old and they and the laying flock get their corn together - except the chicks are in an enclosed run. So they get to see each other twice a day and the big girls forage around the cheeps' run. We'll do this until they start to lay, then one night we'll sneak the youngsters into the big ark and hope no-one notices. So far, it's worked fine - although ours are free range, so if there is any bullying, the victim can leg it out of range.

 

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