advice wanted on mixing young chicks with adult hens

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by joegwendolyn, Mar 31, 2009.

  1. joegwendolyn

    joegwendolyn Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 26, 2009
    i have just got 2 baby chicks, i am keeping them indoors in a brooder cage with a heat lamp, I also have 3 big hens in my garden I was just wondering what age to put them together, and if there is a special way to introduce them, any advice welcomed
  2. fjorddreamer

    fjorddreamer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 27, 2008
    Nova Scotia
    I'd like to know more about this as well. Anyone?
  3. Chickenmaven

    Chickenmaven Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 6, 2009
    How old are your babies?
    I would say that your first step is making sure that they are old enough, feathered out enough to *be* outside.
  4. Lesa

    Lesa Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 28, 2008
    Upstate NY
    I asked this question a while back- I was told they are ready to be together when the babies are eating layer pellets- like the big girls. That makes sense to me...I think that is around 16 weeks. I would imagine that supervised range time, would be okay. I wouldn't leave them alone, though. I have read of chickens killing chicks...Have fun with them!
  5. joegwendolyn

    joegwendolyn Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 26, 2009
    they are only just over a week old at the moment so i wasn't thinking of doing it for a while just wanted to know what age would be best and how best to do it, the young chicks are buff orphingtons and the older ones are rhode island red cross white sussex,
  6. fowl weathered friend

    fowl weathered friend Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 1, 2008
    Tucson, AZ
    I'd watch out with that combo as RIR (even crosses) can err on the aggressive side.
    If you have a large run or free-range yard then this may hep ease the tension because they'll have some wiggle room and the opportunity to stay out of the bigger hens way.
    Another great option would be to set up a smaller run outside not far from your larger hens where they can see and hear each other but don;t have access yet. If you have the ability, you could also divide your coop, and set up a separate section for your pullets.
    This may make your transition easier.
    Obviously, don't move them until they are significantly older. If they have a predator-proof smaller run outside you can probably start to transition them anywhere from 5 weeks, depending on factors like your outside temperature. If it's consistently 70-75 degrees outside then they will probably be ok to move outside at 5 weeks, but I would separate them from your older hens at this age because they are still considerably smaller. Any colder or breezy/drafty and I would hold off for a while.

    I also recommend ensuring that your adult hens are dewormed and aren't showing any signs of illness before introducing your new babies to a possibly infected yard. Observe them for a week or two beforehand, and take reasonable bio-security measures.

    I wish you the best of luck, and I hope all goes well![​IMG]
  7. joegwendolyn

    joegwendolyn Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 26, 2009
    thanks very much for that, i will keep a close eye out when i do it cheers
  8. KatyTheChickenLady

    KatyTheChickenLady Bird of A Different Feather

    Dec 20, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    It has been my experience that BO's are picked on whenever possible and anything crossed with a RIR tends to be the pickee. So you have a double whammy baby BO's and older RIR's. I would suggest being very careful.
    That said, I put mine out with the big girls at 6 weeks, but I never put out fewer than 4 at a time (safety in numbers). Funny thing is it bonds them together and they wind up always hanging out in that foursome.
  9. joegwendolyn

    joegwendolyn Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 26, 2009
    i think i might have to look at getting another coop and run sorted out instead i dont want them getting hurt as the babies are really tame
  10. pixiechic

    pixiechic Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 23, 2008
    North GA
    From what I've read here, it's a good idea to wait until the babies are nearly as big as the adult birds before mixing them together - 12-16 weeks seems to be the general consensus.

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