7 week old chicks and existing flock questions

sahmhomesteader

Chirping
6 Years
Nov 3, 2013
271
14
93
SW Ohio
First time having baby chicks. I have 12 seven week old chicks that have been living alongside my 6 adult hens for 4 weeks separated by some chicken wire. Is it okay to move them into the big coop soon? Also, all my hens free range around our property. I have put the chicks outside the last couple of days in my kids' playhouse, but they have never been allowed to run around freely. If I move them into the big coop, do I allow them to go outside and range freely with the older hens or do I wait until they are a little older? I just keep seeing images of me trying to chase 12 seven week old chicks in the evening to get them in the coop...and losing lol
 

foreverlearning

Songster
6 Years
Aug 4, 2013
2,421
326
198
Let them range with the big girls and they should go back to their own coop at dusk. The first day will show a few light pecks from the bigger hens and a few fluffed up neck feathers or even chest bumping but that is it (pecking order stuff). Then after a few days ranging together put them in the main coop after roosting. They may go back to their old coop at dust for a few days but just keep putting them in the big coop and they will get used to it. I find this is the easiest transition into the big coop as it gets all the pecking order stuff out of the way before they go in there.
 

sahmhomesteader

Chirping
6 Years
Nov 3, 2013
271
14
93
SW Ohio
Let them range with the big girls and they should go back to their own coop at dusk. The first day will show a few light pecks from the bigger hens and a few fluffed up neck feathers or even chest bumping but that is it (pecking order stuff). Then after a few days ranging together put them in the main coop after roosting. They may go back to their old coop at dust for a few days but just keep putting them in the big coop and they will get used to it. I find this is the easiest transition into the big coop as it gets all the pecking order stuff out of the way before they go in there.

Thank you so much! Will they still close to the older hens during the day or should I make sure to be out supervising? Should I put them out just before dusk to start out or can I go put them out now?
 

foreverlearning

Songster
6 Years
Aug 4, 2013
2,421
326
198
After the pecking order is done they will stay close to your flock. You can go ahead and let them out now so they have time to work it all out.
 

sahmhomesteader

Chirping
6 Years
Nov 3, 2013
271
14
93
SW Ohio
Thank you. I let them out for 2 hours today. Both the adults and the chicks have been living side by side with chicken wire as a barrier for 4 weeks. None of the hens cared to touch the chicks at all except for my golden coment. She felt the need to try to sneak in and peck them...hard, at least that is how I perceived it. When she would do that, I would tap her back or wing letting her know it wasn't acceptable. I hope that is ok...
 

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