Advice please Re: Integrating new chicks to flock

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Chicktastick, Jul 1, 2016.

  1. Chicktastick

    Chicktastick Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 13, 2015
    Hello wonderful BYC community!
    I have a situation I haven't found on BYC. I have 15, twelve week old pullets. Due to a mix up at the hatchery, a month ago I got 3 four week old chicks. The 3 "oops" chicks are now 8 weeks old. For the past month the chicks have been in a cage in the coop, so they have been able to see each other. Tonight I snuck the 8 week olds onto the perch with the 12 week olds. I'm planning on getting up at the crack of dawn to check on everyone, but now I'm worried. Is it okay to put 2 month olds in with 3 month olds? The 3 month pullets are RIR, PBR, austalorp and sex link. The 2 month olds are RIR, sex link and orpington. If I don't integrate them now, will it be worse later? Right now the 3 month olds are very mellow.
    Thank you
     
  2. islandgirl82

    islandgirl82 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 4, 2014
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    Have you done any supervised introductions during the day?

    If not or if it hasn't been going well, I wouldn't be putting the younger chicks on the roost with the older pullets just yet. I would recommend a few minutes here and there of supervised mingling time so that you're right there to protect those chicks if the older girls decide to pick on them. Increase their mingling time by a few minutes each day and continue to leave them in the crate in the coop at night for their own safety. Keep a close eye on the behavior of the older ones and if they're accepting of the little ones and not bullying then you're on the right track. Expect a few pecks here and there...your older girls are still figuring out their own pecking order and the little ones will be disrupting that a bit.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2016
  3. Chicktastick

    Chicktastick Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 13, 2015
    Thank you Islandgirl82,
    Yes, a couple of short introductions. There was some squabbling over food, couple of "bigs" rushed into the chicks pen after a peach. I swear I only had the door open for a second. Guess those greedy guts had been eyeing the peach for a while lol. Anyway, Im taking your advice, going to keep a close eye on them. I was hoping with there being only a month difference in age it wouldnt be a problem, but chickens grow so fast!
    Happy 4th to you. Thanks again
     
  4. islandgirl82

    islandgirl82 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A month can be a huge difference when they're young. I find introducing young chicks to a flock of established hens (18mo+) to be a much smoother experience and can begin introducing them at just a few weeks old - either through barriers or while I'm holding them. Introducing "teenagers" to anyone smaller than them can be tricky. Best wishes please post updates on how it's going.
    Happy 4th to you as well.
     

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