4 week old chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by crusting, Sep 27, 2011.

  1. crusting

    crusting In the Brooder

    Sep 21, 2009
    Hello. I just got 2 four week old chicks today. I have 2 two-year old chickens already. Eventually I'd like to put them together. I need some help now, though, because I have never had chickens as young as 4 weeks. Can I ask a few questions?

    I currently have the chicks ina box inside the house. I'm thinking of letting them outside each day and then bringing them back in each night. I have a portable run that I could use for them during the day -- it's open on the bottom. Do I need to be really careful about what material is on the ground when I put them in that run? Right now the location I'm thinking of has some bark chips over soil, and there are a few weeds growing in between the bark. Is that going to be safe for them, or should I move it to the grass?

    How much do I need to observe them while they're in the outside run? (would it be safe to leave for an hour or so, or should I bring them back in the house first?)

    I don't currently have any feed in the box with them--Is that okay, or should I be providing food and water at night too?

    What age will it be safe to transfer them to the regular coop and keep them there at night?

    What would be the best way to introduce them to my older girls? I don't have an easy way of keeping them separate other than the portable run, and the portable run is too big to put inside of my regular coop and run. I can't let the chickens free range all over the yard as we have low fences and some poisonous plants on the other side, as well as a dog that I need to keep them safe from.

    Thank you so much for your help!!
  2. Patricia Jane

    Patricia Jane Songster

    Oct 28, 2010
    Petaluma CA
    IMHO, It should be fine to have them outside in the grass as long as its warm. I had mine outside all day when they were 4 weeks and would put them back in the brooder in the eve. Keep an eye on them.Check them periodically and if they are huddling together you'll know it's too cold and bring them in. I have 3 different age groups and am integrating them now. I have two pens inside the run with the bigger girls so they can see and smell each other. I put them in during the day and put them away in their brooder at night. You said you don't have the room in the run for a pen but could you put the portable pen next to the big girls run so they can see each other? Wait till they are about 8 weeks and try putting them in the run with the big girls and have some hiding places with their food placed inside so they have somewhere to hide if need be. Make them so the big girls can't get in but the younger ones can. I would stay in with them to keep an eye on them. Remove them in the eve for a few days then place them in the coop in the eve. If the big girls are too agressive seperate them for awhile and then try again. There will be some pecking to establish a new pecking order. It has worked for me so far. I'm sure someone with more experience may have some better ideas. As far as leaving the food and water in with them, mine have access at all times. I'm not sure what everyone else does. Good luck and have fun. [​IMG]

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