Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Mrs Frugal

Introducing baby chicks to older hens

Recommended Posts

We've had a few posts from people who have tried to introduce very young chicks to older hens. Day olds and young chicks are absolutely adorable but it's really important to understand that older chickens will most probably attack young chicks if you introduce them to the flock before they are old enough and big enough to stand up for themselves.


If chicks have been hatched under a broody hen, the mother will look after them but the mother hen and the chicks still need to be kept separately from any other hens you have until the chicks are of a similar size to the others before introducing them to the rest of your flock. Do read the topic on hatching chicks first before putting fertilised eggs under a broody hen though as it's not something to be undertaken on a whim.


No matter how adorable day old or young chicks are, it is not a good idea to introduce chicks to older hens until they are at least 16 weeks of age or are of the same size as the other hens when they can cope with a bit of feather pulling but any earlier than that and you may end up with severe bullying of the smaller birds which could lead to fatalities.


When introducing young point of lay birds, it's a good idea to keep them separate from the other hens but within sight of them for around a week so that they get used to seeing the newcomers. When introducing them properly, doing so at night is usually the best option as the hens are drowsy and little pecking goes on. Keep plenty of feeding stations dotted around the run so that no hen is barred from feeding by the dominant hen. If they are able to free range together, this can help reduce tension too. For further tips on introducing new point of lay hens, see this topic.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this