Advise on integrating 9 week old chicks with flock?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Chermak1101, Sep 20, 2019.

  1. Chermak1101

    Chermak1101 Chirping

    Sep 8, 2019
    Scranton, PA
    I have 7 nine week old chicks (6pullets & 1 roo) starting the integration with my 9 25week olds (8 hens & 1 roo). I have had the littles in a fenced in area next to the large coop so they can see each other for for a few days now. Opened a small spot in the fencing so only the babies could come and go, when 2 did venture into the big coop my rooster went after one. My black Australorp also kept going after them, she is seeing impaired and I’m guessing she wasn’t quite sure what they were or maybe because that would put her at the bottom of the pecking order with the big ones? I have no issues with the different breeds of my big ones and have never had anyone pick on another. Do I try again with the babies in a few days? Should I try integrating outside in the run and not in the coop? Most of my flock was outside when I made the opening for the babies, but my big ones always come and find me when I’m around.

    I also have 3 nine week old bantams (2 are roosters) and 3 five week old bantams that I still have in my sunroom. But figured I would integrate the others first.
  2. Mvan42

    Mvan42 Songster

    Mar 15, 2019
    Garrett County, Maryland
    Most suggest the see not touch for a week or two. You may need to let them see them but no contact for a little while longer. My brooder is in my coop I have 6 I let out with my big ones when they were five weeks there was no issues
    aart likes this.
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    A few days is not near long enough.

    Mvan42 likes this.
  4. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Free Ranging

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    Try this, put a pallet up on blocks so that it is just a couple of inches off the ground. It is ok if the big birds can still fit under there, but is should be so that it slows them down quite a bit. Set the pallet right above the opening in the fence. And then let them work it out.

    When they get chased, they should run at full speed toward the safety zone. They should still be small enough that going under the pallet does not slow them down, but will slow down anything chasing them.

    When I first set this up, I let the bigs outside the coop and run. Then I take a cup of coffee and wait for the chicks to get brave enough to venture forth. I do not shoe them out, I let them decide, after they are exploring a bit. I stand up and give a mock chase. Usually they quickly realize that they can scurry under the pallet and back into the safety zone.

    Often times, for chickens, out of sight, out of mind. Once the chick scurries under the pallet, the big bird will give up the chase.

    After that let them be. Let them work it out. The chicks will learn proper chicken etiquette and will be part of the flock in a week. Every time you step in and break it up, they start over.

    Mrs K

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