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Mixing Chics with mature birds.

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Is it ok to mix baby Chics with my adult girls? Or should I separate them and if so for how long? Thanks.
post #2 of 9
Hi there. What you will want to do is introduce them slowly. make a area where the adult birds can SEE the chicks but can NOT get to them. It may take a couple of weeks. After that time of the adults watching the chicks you can try the introduction but STAY AND WATCH. if it goes badly, continue with the separation then try again to integrate the chicks. Eventually they will be accepted. Depending on your birds sometimes sooner, sometimes later. What breed are your adult girls? Some breeds are especially accepting. The breeds considered "docile" are usually the most accepting. There will always be a flock dynamic, lead hen ect. but watch for excessive pecking, keeping the chicks from food, flying at one another or jumping on the chicks. These things can not only hurt but kill the chicks so watch for this aggressive behavior. Hope this helps! Remember the breeds personality comes into play too.Are both breeds docile? Aggressive? ect.
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

Rhode Island Reds and Bantams

Thank you for your response

post #4 of 9

I don't put youngsters in with the flock until they are about 10 weeks old.  By that age they are closer in size and better able to defend themselves in the normal pecking order scuffles that will take place.  Small chicks have no way to defend against adult birds and are easily killed.  RIR's especially are often known for being aggressive towards other birds. 

 

My chicks move into their grow-out pen, which shares a fence line with the older birds, at 4-5 weeks old and stay there until I start letting them out about 10 weeks old.  By then the older hens are used to them and things go pretty smoothly.  Even pecking order scuffles are minor at that point and it doesn't take them long to merge with the flock.

wife to long suffering husband who has built more miles of fence, barns, coops and enclosures then one man should have to, two teenage boys, current flock of 13 assorted hens, 1 big red roo and a list of other assorted farm animals. 
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wife to long suffering husband who has built more miles of fence, barns, coops and enclosures then one man should have to, two teenage boys, current flock of 13 assorted hens, 1 big red roo and a list of other assorted farm animals. 
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post #5 of 9

You can mingle chicks beginning around three weeks as long as they have a "panic room" to duck back inside when the going gets rough.

 

It depends on the chicks being raised in view of the adult flock before they are allowed to mingle so the chicks are already known and familiar. Or in nice weather, you can bring the chicks out of their brooder for day visits in a safe pen in view of the flock.

 

Either way, chicks benefit tremendously from being introduced early to the flock while they are still tiny and non-threatening. It's safe and effective as long as a panic room method is used so the chicks have a safe have where the adults can't follow through the chick size openings in the barrier.

 

I've been using this method for nine batches of chicks so far over the years with very good success.

post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captjoe View Post

Rhode Island Reds and Bantams
Thank you for your response
You may have troubles down the road, RIR can be bullies sometimes.
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
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Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
post #7 of 9
I'm not sure what I want to do. I want to get some new chicks next month but am afraid I won't have any place for them as they get bigger before introducing them to my chickens I have now. I don't have a garage to put them in and it will be too cold yet to have them outside in the weather. I have 6 chickens now in a coop with attached run.
post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynnette in WI View Post

I'm not sure what I want to do. I want to get some new chicks next month but am afraid I won't have any place for them as they get bigger before introducing them to my chickens I have now. I don't have a garage to put them in and it will be too cold yet to have them outside in the weather. I have 6 chickens now in a coop with attached run.


Why not wait another month until the worst of winter is past? Then you can brood the chicks in the coop under the heating pad system in view of the other chickens, but in a safe pen. That way. the chicks will grow up in proximity to the adult flock and integration will be a breeze. You can have the chicks roosting with the adults by age five or six weeks using the panic room method of integration.

 

Many of us have successfully brooded chicks in very cold temps, freezing and below, using the heating pad system. I wouldn't want to attempt it with temps down in the single digits, though. I'd wait until the night temps are up into the twenties and thirties, to be safe.

post #9 of 9
The chicks will be here the end of March. I planned on having them in my modified dog crate with a heat lamp in a spare room, the kids will love to see them and learn all about them. I'm just not sure on how long they will stay in there, with their size, that I would need to get them out to something bigger. But some of these posts on here have given me some ideas on a panic room I can build in the coop, I think we will be OK. Now I wish I would have built my coop bigger for this, darn.
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