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When can I put the babies in with the big girls?

post #1 of 2
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I have 9, 4 week old babies. I have a large coop and run with 4, 1 year old pullets. Directly next to it I have a smaller coop and run. I am planning to let the babies in the smaller run during the days and bring them in at night for the next week or so, as it's still in the 50's at night and they are not fully feathered. (they were out for a few hours today). By the end of the week I'd like to have the babies sleeping outside (in their own coop). How long before I can put the babies in the big coop with the big girls? The big ones ran up to the side of their run today to see all the commotion when I brought out the chicks, but lost interest pretty quickly. the little coop is just that, very little and I don't know how long 9 of them will fit in there!
On a little island in the sea. Mom to two kids, a great man, a jack Russell, 5 fish and 5 chicks.
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On a little island in the sea. Mom to two kids, a great man, a jack Russell, 5 fish and 5 chicks.
Reply
post #2 of 2

If your ultimate goal is to integrate the chicks with the older chickens, it may be easier to just go ahead and skip moving them into the small coop.

 

Chickens get very upset over change, and once you establish that a coop is home and the place to sleep, it's going to involve another round of change and teaching to get them to adapt to a different coop.

 

You're off to an excellent start by letting the chicks spend time outside each day. If you let the chicks spend time in a safe pen adjacent to the big girls, then everyone will get to know one another, making integration easier when the time comes.

 

I integrate my chicks around age two or three weeks by using the panic room method. This is after the chicks have been growing up alongside the adults so everyone is familiar with each other. The chicks catch on very quickly that safety is through the 5 x 7 inch portals in their safe pen. It makes integration safe and easy.

 

I show how it's done in my article on outdoor brooding linked below this post.

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