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Adding Chickens
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Juliana    Posted 02-20-2004 at 11:21:40       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Hi All! Need some advise, please. I want to get 6 more hens (day old) to add to the 2 and rooster I have now. Can I put them in with the others as soon as they are able to be outside all the time? Should I keep the rooster apart for a time while the new chicks settle in or just let them sort things out from the first? If I get a differant breed of hens, would that make a differance? Thanks.

RichZ    Posted 02-20-2004 at 12:11:57       [Reply]  [Send Email]
This is how we add more chickens to the flock:

Once the babies are eating adult food, and about the same size as the adults, we put them in the henhouse at night, while it's dark. That way, the adults wake up and see the new ones there, and they accept them. We never have any problems doing it this way.

Bkeepr    Posted 02-20-2004 at 11:41:50       [Reply]  [No Email]
We keep ours separate until they're eating the same food.

We feed our adult laying hens a layer ration, but it is toxic for chicks until they're something like 18 weeks old (it says the age on the sack, different brands are a little different). We found it is impossible to keep them together but eating separate food.

We have put them together a couple of weeks early and just fed everybody the starter feed for awhile, but I was worried about the laying hens losing too many nutrients that way so we don't do it long.

After that, we haven't had any problem with roosters hurting chicks until they're old enough to mate.

good luck,
Tom A

Juliana    Posted 02-20-2004 at 21:05:58       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I didn't know that the adult feed was toxic to the younger chicks. Thanks for that update. I knew I couldn't put the two ages in and try and feed them different food, that would drive ME crazy! Thanks again.

Bkeepr    Posted 02-21-2004 at 05:44:44       [Reply]  [No Email]
I have read that the problem is long-term toxicity, not immediate. It isn't that the chicks will just drop dead, but it injures the liver and/or kidneys so they are basically much weaker than they would be otherwise...and so they don't lay as well in their lifetime and their life is shorter than otherwise.


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