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A little concerned about introducing the girls!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by nuttyredhead, Sep 6, 2010.

  1. nuttyredhead

    nuttyredhead Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 3, 2010
    Southern NH
    I have 21 week old Amberlinks in the big coop out back and my little girls (7-10) week old Silkie and Silkie Cochin cross in the garage. I have had them for 4 weeks now and am planning on introducing them in the next week or 2. Im a bit concerned about the size difference, they seem so small compared to the big girls (and roo). Any advice on the introduction?

    ALso it is anywhere from 70 - 80s in the day and 40 - 60's at night. I know they are fully feathered but they seem so small we (I) still have the heat lamp on them...I know spoiling them..... Should i stop using the heat lamp or is it better to wait until they go into the big coop.

    Thanks!!!
     
  2. DAFox

    DAFox Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 7, 2009
    SW MO in Vernon Co
    I would wait about 10 more weeks. If they were all large fowl, it is recommended to wait until they are the same size -- not less than 16 weeks old. How many Amberlinks do you have?
    If I was the one having to do the introductions (when the Silkie and Silkie/(bantam?)Cochin are close to 20 weeks old), I'd add one Amberlink to their pen in the garage. In a few days, I'd add another. I would watch very carefully. I would not just put them with all the Amberlinks at once.
    My preference is to keep bantams separate from large fowl. But, plenty of people keep them together.
    Dale-Ann
     
  3. nuttyredhead

    nuttyredhead Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 3, 2010
    Southern NH
    Wow really 10 more weeks? Does anyone else have any experience with intergrating different size breeds?

    DAFox --Im not discounting what you wrote by any means, just looking to see if most people wait this long. I hadn't head of waiting this long before. I do appreciatte your input!
     
  4. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    I have integrated bantams with standard fowl, BUT they happened to be raised in the brooder with each other. That is, I had standard chickens then bought some bantam and standard chicks and raised the chicks together. Then, when they were 8 weeks old, I move the chicks outside to their own segregation/integration coop & run. I just put up a temporary poultry fence with chicken wire and garden stakes INSIDE the main run, and around the 'grow out' coop with the chicks. They were in that for two weeks..... the big chickens and little chickens were able to see, smell, hear each other and even chest bump through the chicken wire, but that was it.

    By the time I took down the temporary fence, everybody was familiar with everybody else. The big chickens just figured, "Oh, it's you, not some stranger!" and would only peck or run at the chicks when the chicks got too pushy at the feeder or stepped into someone's personal space. [​IMG]

    The bantams were and are much smaller than the standard chickens. However, in each grow out coop/run, with 3 bantam chicks there was always one standard breed chick. That's just the way I bought 'em.... So the bigger chick just grew bigger together with the bantams, and by the time they were all 10-12 weeks old, the standard chick was much larger than the bantams. Then I combined them with the large fowl grown up chickens, and it was no big deal.

    I didn't PLAN it that way, but as I was explaining my 'grow out' coop/run thing, I realized I'd done it that way, with a standard chick growing up in the brooder and then in the grow out coop along with the little bitty itty bantam chicks.
     
  5. DAFox

    DAFox Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 7, 2009
    SW MO in Vernon Co
    Quote:No worries! I just described to you what I would do...based on my own experience in trying to introduce chicks to adults. And thats LF to LF. I tried to introduce about 8 somewhat young chicks, (7 - 10 week olds) to 1 lonely 2 year old hen who absolutely terrorized them. I had to separate them until the chicks were almost the same size.
    Dale-Ann
     
  6. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    IF they will be going out in the next week or two, I would definitely begin weaning them off the heat lamp rather than try cold turkey when they go out to the "big house."
    I wouldn't just put them out there with the big girls...I'd wire off an area of the run for them so they can begin being exposed to one another. Of course this would mean you'd either have to provide them a temporary shelter for night time, or you'd have to carry them to the garage or into the big coop (at night). And whenever you DO make it to the point of integrating them fully, I'd start on a Saturday morning (Friday night really, so they would wake up together in the same coop) so that you can be there to observe in case things go badly. Make sure there are lots of places (roosts, barriers, etc.) for the chicks to escape to inside the run.
     
  7. nuttyredhead

    nuttyredhead Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 3, 2010
    Southern NH
    Quote:Thanks to everyone for your info! I am thinking about holding off for one more week. To wean them off the heat lamp. They are in a very large (i think it is the XL) Wire dog crate, I am just going to move it into the coop. Then they can all see each other, I will leave them like this for at least a week. I will give them supervised time together. At least they will be a bit used to each other.
     
  8. drunkdog

    drunkdog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 15, 2010
    Everett
    I have succesfully integrated 8week olds with 18week olds but did so slowly by letting them see eachother first and then free ranging together under supervision first before fully integrating them....we did have som bullying by the big girls for food etc but that quickly went away partially because our Roo did a great job of breaking that stuff up before I even had to step in... now they are one big flock with 2 roos (well one wannabe roo that is still growing [​IMG])
     

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