Well, I finally did it. On Monday afternoon I set up a little fenced area within the chicken run and let our baby chicks outside for about 4 hours. On Tuesday I had them outside for 6 hours, and on Wednesday evening, I snuck the baby chicks into the chicken coop at dusk while the other chickens were settling down for the night.
And you know what? It worked.
On Thursday morning I opened the coop. And as all the older hens came flying out for breakfast, I resisted the temptation to open the egg hatch and take the baby chicks out. I made them find their way out of the coop all on their own.
After about 30 minutes or so, they had all figured it out.
Tough love, that’s what I’m talking about.
Last night was the baby chicks second night in the coop. Since they are still too small to hop up the ladder and get inside themselves, we’ve been gathering them up and placing them in the nesting box each night with Black Fatty and Piggy so they stay nice and warm. So far, so good.
Besides the occasional nip from one of the older chickens, everything seems to be working out fine. But there is one thing I have to remember. Always feed the older chickens first. Otherwise, they freak out and scare the babies off and steal their food.
Raising backyard chickens is fun, there is certainly a learning curve to it, but once you get to know your birds, and what they’ll tolerate, you’ll be fine.
Have you ever had to introduce new chickens to older ones? How did it go? Did you have any problems? Do YOU have any tips for the newbies out there?
Read More Chicken Stories
Have you been thinking about getting a few chickens for your backyard? Check out the book A Chicken in Every Yard: The Urban Farm Store’s Guide to Chicken Keeping By Robert Litt. Amazon currently has the book on sale for $12.03
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