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26 new chicks! When do I put them in with the big chickens?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by bearz, Jul 2, 2008.

  1. bearz

    bearz Songster

    May 20, 2008
    We got a package Sunday from MM Hatchery. They are SO cute! My 8 yr old wanted rainbow layers so we have about 12 different kinds of pullets. He's naming them all...God help me!

    Anyway, we have 1 rooster, 3 fullsize hens and one teenager in the chicken coop now. Its a 12 x 16 shed. Right now they are caged according to what we want fertilized, but we're going to put the rooster in a pen by himself and let the others go free soon since I don't want to be incubating any more eggs. Now, my question is, how soon can we release the little ones to run with the hens? I have the 26 in the warmer now but Monday I'm going to have a bunch more hatching and will have to use the warmer for them. Its very warm in the shed during the day, in the 80s probably, and at night doesn't get that cool, especially now that we are going into August.

    Will the hens peck them? Maybe I should just keep the hens in their pens and put in a warming light on the wall close to the floor for the chicks?

    I've really got the bug on this chicken thing...
  2. Robin L

    Robin L Songster

    Jun 12, 2008
    Im in no way expert but if you need the warmer what I did might help you.
    My babies now 3 1/2 weeks old are in my coop with the big girls. At first they were in thier brooder and big chickens could only look. Then the babies started jumping and trying to fly and I felt bad because they couldnt move more so I made "chick ville" a place for the chicks to get away from the big girls but they could run and play in the coop. There is no way for the girls to get into chick ville. Their food and water are kept in there too.
    The babies love chick ville! They can roost, dig, take dust baths or whatever floats their boat.
    Im sure others will help you too.
  3. JennsPeeps

    JennsPeeps Rhymes with 'henn'

    Jun 14, 2008
    South Puget Sound
    From what I've learned on BYC, I'd keep them separated, but within sight of each other (if possible) for at least 5-6 weeks. It's highly possible the hens will peck at them & try (maybe succeed) to kill them. Protect your investment & keep them apart for now, then introduce them gradually via short introductions through a fence.

    Lots of people say to move the newbies into the coop at night when they're bigger. I'm not sure for numbers this large what is the best practice.
  4. steffpeck

    steffpeck Songster

    Mar 25, 2007
    Erda, UT
    RobinL ~ I would like more information and pictures if possible of your chickville. Thanks!
  5. Robin L

    Robin L Songster

    Jun 12, 2008
    I can do that for you tomorrow.
  6. bearz

    bearz Songster

    May 20, 2008
    Robin...I'd like to see that too.
  7. Lammie

    Lammie In the Brooder

    Jun 25, 2008
    We wait until the chicks are feathered and then we put them in a larger cage inside the chicken pen for a week and then open the door to the cage and let the chicks come out when they want to. In winter we keep a heat lamp out there for them just in case. Everyone gets used to everyone else.
  8. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member 11 Years

    To run free and interact with the grown birds, you have a long way to go. I wait till at least 12 weeks. The hens can literally kill them if they are too small. Also, they need to develop their immunities to things before they are put in with adults, I've heard.
  9. jkm

    jkm Songster

    Mar 28, 2007
    Forest Grove
    I used a dog x pen to make a chcik-ville, the two buffies looked at the chicks for a week. Now the babies can run in and out and all over the big pen.
    they are about 3 1/2 weeks old.

    the babies are taking over the main coop run and perching on the perch, and exploring the ramp to the upper coop.

    the buffies really get after them sometimes, but they can run really fast....
    so far no chick deaths, hoping to fix the night coop to make it easier on me.

    hope the next five weeks goes smooth. bigger is better.

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