adding younger chicks to older chicks

kearstin17

Chirping
7 Years
Apr 28, 2012
195
3
91
Grand junction
I have six 9 week old chicks in my coop and I have six 5 week old chicks in my brooder. at what age can I add the younger ones to the coop with the older ones? also what can I expect and what should I watch for? I am new at all of this. The 5 week olds are a lot smaller then the 9 week olds and I am scared the older ones will kill the younger ones.
 

ButchGood

Songster
8 Years
Mar 14, 2012
780
93
181
Central Texas
I added 2 week olds to my 8 week olds. I started by building a little nursery pen inside the chicken run. I put an igloo dog house in there for them to sleep in. I kept the young ones in there for 2 weeks. The bigger birds would see them everyday and got used to seeing them. After 2 weeks I took out the nursery pen. There was a little pecking going on but the big birds weren't relentless. They would just give the a peck to show them who was on top. Just a pecking order readjustment. You just have to watch for any young birds getting ganged up on or being relentlessly beaten up. I had no problems. They are now 7 and 13 weeks and get along very well.
 

kearstin17

Chirping
7 Years
Apr 28, 2012
195
3
91
Grand junction
I don't have anything I could use to put the little ones in so that they could get use to each other. do you have to do that before you can put them together?
 

kearstin17

Chirping
7 Years
Apr 28, 2012
195
3
91
Grand junction
I have a small dog crate but it's not big enough for the chicks and there food & water. The coop was made for us and we are doing a rent to own on it so we don't have any mesh wire or anything like that. I will look around my house and see if I can;t find something that would work, if not my husband comes home thursday and I can see if he can build some kind of box for them to go in there. he made the brooder so I am sure he can build something that would work. how many day do we keep them apart before I can let them go with the others?
 

Jeffross1968

Songster
8 Years
May 14, 2011
1,130
15
191
Smoky Mountains
I have added chicks of different ages together. Often, it's a matter of numbers. You have 6 of each. Personally, I'd put them in at a time when you can spend an hour watching what happens. If all goes well during that hour, I'd feel relatively safe.
 

kearstin17

Chirping
7 Years
Apr 28, 2012
195
3
91
Grand junction
I have added chicks of different ages together. Often, it's a matter of numbers. You have 6 of each. Personally, I'd put them in at a time when you can spend an hour watching what happens. If all goes well during that hour, I'd feel relatively safe.
did you have them in something so they could see each other and get use to each other first or did you just put them in there?
 

cafarmgirl

Crowing
10 Years
Mar 24, 2009
5,523
590
327
California, central valley
You are right to be scared!
Chickens can be really horrible to new birds. What we do is go down to the feed store, or whatever supply store you have near you, and buy some cheap, small hole chicken wire, maybe two or three feet high. We use that to fence off a portion of the run for the newbies. That way everybody gets used to seeing each other scratching around during the day. At night they sleep in the coop in a wire dog kennel. Again, everybody can see each other but no contact. I do this for as long as it takes for things to settle down. With young birds it's faster, with older birds it's longer, sometimes a royal pain in the backside. There will still be a few feathers ruffled when they all do finally get together but it shouldn't be to bad.

Normal pecking order fights involve quick pecks, chasing for a short distance and tail pulling. That is normal. Aggressive, extended chasing, pulling out lots of feathers and pecking that results in blood or wounds is going to far and you need to intervene at that point.
Watch in case you have a bossy fight instigator who doesn't want to let the new birds settle in and wants to do serious damage. Sometimes a bird like that has to be pulled from the flock for an extended time out for a few days while everybody else gets settled.

A little time and a few precautions and you can end up with a nicely integrated flock.
 

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