New chicks to existing flock - Page 2
Not a problem with this method of integration. The chicks will be able to handle any bullies by racing back into their safe pen where you will open chick-size portals only after they reach three weeks of age. By that age, they understand the danger some adult chickens pose and they are more than able to outrun them. In fact, watching tiny three-week old chicks outwit an older bully is high entertainment.
However, the amount of bullying under this system is naturally limited due to the fact that the adults do not see the chicks as intruders, the way they would if they were suddenly introduced at a month or two of age. When adult chickens watch chicks growing up right under their beaks, they tend to view them as flock members, not outsiders.
In fact, with my two sets of chicks raised under this system, there was zero bullying by the adults. The bullying came from the juveniles bullying the second batch of chicks, and it hasn't been anything worse than four-month olds thinking it fun sport to chase babies. The way the safe pen is set up with small portals and the same portals in the other partitions in the run, no baby chick has ever been caught by these juvenile sports.
Articles by azygous:
Articles by azygous:
I have my chicks in a dog kennel that I wrapped in chicken wire. They have been out in the hen house with a heat lamp. I got the chicks on March 21. I got the rooster on the 2nd of April and have had the chicks and rooster housed together but separated by the kennel. I got 4 hens on the 4th and 3 more on the 6th of April. So, in total, the hens have been around the chicks for 4-6 days now. I plan to integrate them at the end of the month when they are almost 6 weeks old. I have a fenced area 12 feet by 30 feet and the hen house is 4 feet by 6 feet. I think there is plenty of room for them to escape if one of the hens gets to pecking.
I plan to let the chicks out to roost the evening before and then watch everyone the morning of. I just hope that 3 weeks is enough time for them to know each other before integration. If not, the chicks can go back into the kennel.