Advice for integrating chicks with established flock, coop is smallish and temps in AZ are over 115

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by caitelady91, Jun 29, 2016.

  1. caitelady91

    caitelady91 New Egg

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    May 4, 2016
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    I have 4 chicks that are 11 weeks old. They are outgrowing the brooder I have for them inside but I'm afraid to move them out because they seem to have a harder time with the heat than my 4 full grown hens. I've read about the method to introduce chicks into a flock, keeping them in sight but protected from the older ladies. I am uncertain about a couple things and would like some advice and ideas!

    1. My coop is too small to put an enclosed area inside with even the same amount of space as the brooder, let alone more. I do have a small enclosed area outside the coop but it's TINY. I can't decide if keeping the chicks separated in that area defeats the purpose of putting them in the hen's sight, since it's outside the coop and they don't spend much time there during the day.

    2. It is VERY hot in Arizona for the next 3 months and keeping the chicks in the coop through the day is not an option. Should I bring them back inside during the day or is there a good way to keep them protected from the hens outside during the day? (my hens free range in the back yard during the day, we don't have problems with most predators in my area but I have seen a few birds of prey that may try to take a chick...)

    Any help you could provide would be wonderful, and if you need clarification on anything just let me know, explaining things over the internet is tough sometimes. :)

    Thank you!
     
  2. BuffOrpington88

    BuffOrpington88 Non-Stop

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    Hi and [​IMG]! I think that it would be good to introduce them while free ranging. Since you don't really have the space to divide them, I would just free range them together until you feel that they're accustomed enough to each other, and then maybe put them in the coop together overnight. Then they can just stay together for longer and longer periods until they're fully integrated. Good luck!
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC!

    1. How big is your coop(feet by feet)?

    2. If you are moving the chicks inside and out each day, they are going to have trouble acclimating to the outside temps. (I assume it's much cooler in the house?)

    Integrating birds does take 'extra' space, that needs to have shelter against the climate.
    Sounds like you need to build adequately sized 24/7 housing adjacent to the existing flock to integrate the new birds.
    The chicks could remain confined outside while the older birds free range.
     
  4. caitelady91

    caitelady91 New Egg

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    May 4, 2016
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    Its roughly 5ftx5ft, with some extra space for 3 nest boxes. It's pretty tall and I have one roost bar currently but I plan to add a few more. here is a picture of it, but i don't know how to rotate the picture.
    [​IMG]
     
  5. MikeTheGardener

    MikeTheGardener Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When my little ones were big enough, basically outgrowing their diggs, I just placed them in the pen with the other 5. It seemed to work out just fine. I kept an eye on them of course.
     
  6. twinsmom6

    twinsmom6 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 10, 2016
    Southern Arizona
    11 weeks old they should be integrated if you can. I live in Tucson - I feel ya.. the heat was up that high. We inergrated the little ones earlier forget the heat lamp just make sure they have a safe place to be shaded.. and a good breeze with a mister if you need some moisture in the air.. we used a dog kenell set up with fans outside to make a breeze.. shade and fresh sand or clean concrete sand to scratch in with air circulating.. they need space at that many weeks... if you can get an extra large dog kennel that may work.. [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    How we integrated new with old flock is keep them in the same run.. but put the little guys in a ginuea pig cage for a couple of days so they can get used to each other.. with supervised visits until comfortable .. you will be surprised they may get along. I agree to keep them out of the coop in the heat or its like an easy bake oven in there need sun..

    home made ac unit with a cooler fan and ice blocks can help if you have to keep them inside
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    we also do frozen veggie blocks.. all ideas I got from these chicken experts
    [​IMG]
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Nov 27, 2012
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    My Coop
    5x5 is not big enough for 8 birds...height doesn't help with bird space in a small foot print, they can't fly down without crashing and there's little room for ramps.
    Is there any ventilation in the coop?
     

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