Introducing Chicks to Chickens

Discussion in 'Chick Raising Forum' started by CrazyBirdLady, Nov 1, 2012.

  1. CrazyBirdLady

    CrazyBirdLady Junior Member

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    Hello, I have 2 Bantams that I hatched in late August. They are in the chicken coop. When they were 3 weeks old I hatched 12 orphaned Guinea Hens and the Bantams accepted them like siblings. I hatched 6 Silkies last week and I brought them into the shed the other day to "introduce them". The Bantams didn't take any interest in them what-so-ever. A couple days ago I brought one of the Silkies to the coop and put it in the brooding box. My Mille de Fluer looked in the box and walked away. I thought she doesn't even care...then she attacked me! She was behind me, I was sitting on a stool and she flew up on my back and was pecking me and flapping her wings. I took my baby and left. Yesterday I went into the coop to feed them and she was hissing at me...what's up with that?? Now I'm afraid to put my 6 Silkie chicks in there with them. What should I do?
     
  2. Bird_slave

    Bird_slave Junior Member

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    Whenever I have to introduce new birds to a coop, I do so by giving the newcomers some type of protection from the other birds. Birds can be so vicious! One peck to a newbie hard enough to draw blood and all the other chickens will peck until they've severly injured or even killed the victim. I've known folks that have built a temporary wall made of a wood frame with the "wall" part made out of chicken wire. I don't have the ability to do that, but I do have an abundance of wire crates and use those within the coops to protect the new little ones.
    Another choice is to wait until your smaller ones are of equal size to the older birds and introduce them at night. Most of the time this works out okay, so long as the younger birds have room to get out of the way of the older birds.
     

  3. CrazyBirdLady

    CrazyBirdLady Junior Member

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    Thank you Bird_Slave, I am definitely not going to let them peck my babies! I have my 10 x 10 coop separated Guinea hens feed on one side but don't roost there. I may have hubby build a small lean to for the Guineas and put the babies on that side. Thanks again.
     
  4. Bird_slave

    Bird_slave Junior Member

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    You're most welcome. You do want to be extra careful with your silkies, especially if they have the vaulted skulls. A vaulted skull in simple terms means that they have a hole in their skull, where their brain is not protected. Once they grow the big crest, the crest provides quite a bit of pecking protection, but as babies it can cause problems if they are picked on. Better safe than sorry.
     
  5. CrazyBirdLady

    CrazyBirdLady Junior Member

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    I will definately be safe...my babies will not be pecked!
     
  6. sandra

    sandra New Member

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    I do have a question to ask. Right now I have three hens and and a rooster. I plan on getting 25 to 50 new baby chicks next spring. I think I'm gonna do a straight run. I plan on doing the same breed, Jersey Giants. Now my question is, with my existing birds, they'll be almost a year old or right at a year old when I get the new chicks. I won't put the new chicks out until they get some size. With the number of new chicks being so large, will the older ones leave them alone? The majority of the birds will be for dinner, but I do plan in keeping about three or four hens to add to my existing flock. What advice do you all have?
     
  7. Bird_slave

    Bird_slave Junior Member

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    There is some safety in numbers, but in my opinion, still better to arrange some kind of barrier - be it a crate, the chicken wire wall, what-have-you, where the little ones can be seen but not hurt. Eventually the older ones do get accustomed to the younger birds, some of the older birds being more tolearant than others. Minor pecking and harrassing is normal; the new ones have to find their place in the pecking order. Singling out one or two of the new ones and ganging up on them is not.
     
  8. sandra

    sandra New Member

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    Thanks for the info. I want to be prepared to prevent problems when I can.