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Author Topic: Introducing chicks  (Read 150 times)


  • Joined Aug 2014
  • Conwy
Introducing chicks
« on: September 11, 2022, 10:46:45 am »
One of our bantams went missing presumed eaten for a couple of weeks but I found her sitting on eggs in a large border in the garden. I successfully moved her and eggs at night and she hatched three. Mum showed no interest in them after 8 weeks or so and returned to the main flock (briefly, as she is now in a thicket that I cannot get into doing it all over again😕) chicks are now 12 weeks and have been in a day run for a week where they can be seen by the others. I plan to move the three in after dark.
I have two questions. Are they old enough? Coop is big enough for  12 or more birds and that would make 8 altogether.
Also, I donít know their sex. I am fairly sure one is male (but only because it is scrawny, long legs and neck ) We have a resident cockerel (obs) should I wait to see if he is a cockerel before introducing the  chicks because if he is a cockerel junior will have to go. I have space to keep them all apart a bit longer but unless I get the latest eggs from the thicket I might be needing the nursery coop!


  • Joined Sep 2020
  • Norfolk
Re: Introducing chicks
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2022, 12:45:44 pm »
They should be ok at 12 weeks although strictly speaking they shouldn't be eating layers pellet until they are POL as the added calcium can affect their kidneys. But if you only have one brooder coop then sounds like you have no other option. The adult cock will be dominant and keep any young males under and there shouldn't really be any fighting until early Spring. I find most males live happily together during autumn and early winter, it's only when the new breeding season approaches they start fighting.


  • Joined Aug 2014
  • Conwy
Re: Introducing chicks
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2022, 12:51:05 pm »
Thanks - I will keep them apart a little bit longer then. I think I could create a bit of another small broody coop but boot the older chicks out of it after any hatchlings appear. I think my semi feral mum may have to go!


  • Joined Sep 2020
  • Norfolk
Re: Introducing chicks
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2022, 04:16:31 pm »
Bantams are notorious for laying and sitting away. I currently have a tiny dutch one hatching her babies in the middle of a thistle patch and another due to hatch in a few days in the middle of a nettle patch! I wouldn't have let them sit except for the fact that I didnt find the nests till they were a week into incubation and then didnt have the heart to remove them so I've just let the hens get on with it. They'll be scooped up and put in broody coops once their babies are all hatched - tomorrow morning for the thistle hen I think. She has 3 hatched at the moment but is sitting tight on the remaining 3 eggs.


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