Another integrating chicks question


9 Years
Jul 22, 2012
San Fernando Valley, California (LA)
I have 2 10 week old poulets in the coop outside, and I need to integrate 6 2-1/2 week olds into that coop within the next 3 weeks. They won't fit in the brooder after that. At that point, I'll have 2-13 week olds and 6-5 week olds. Do you think I can get away with putting them in the coop at night on the roost? Or will the older ones kill the younger ones, or will anything bad happen? Or will they just get along, or can anyone predict the future, LOL???

Thanks so much!
I can't predict the future, unfortunately. The difference in size between 13-week old chickens and 5-week old chickens is significant. The only advantage the 5-week olds will have is that there are 6 of them, but only 2 old the older ones. If you absolutely HAVE to put the two groups together, I would add the younger ones at night - and then be there myself to supervise the first couple days to make sure the younger ones aren't injured. Provide places where the younger ones can run to get away from the older ones. Maybe add a new waterer and feeder at the same time so the two groups won't have to share initially.

However, I would do everything possible to keep them separate until the younger ones are much older and the two groups are close to the same size.
Ok, maybe I can divide the coop in two and the run as well. I'll have to move one or the other group into their section of the run manually every morning and back in the evening, yuck, LOL. Looks like the older ones will have to lose out on their door because two vs 6.... they lose! LOL. I hope that works! Now to search and see how long I have to keep them separate like that.....

Thank you so much!!
We had to integrate last spring, we had 6chicks from TSC and 20 from a local feed store, they were only a month apart, but the chicks from TSC we called "steroid chickens" because they grew SO fast...they were twice the size at 3 & 4mos.

We put them together with no problems.

Then a few months later we had yet another group(we had a "bad batch" of EEs the first go around and had to replace). Now the babies were about 6-8wks and the big guys full sized(6 & 7 mos). We separated the enclosure and supervised their time...within about a week they figured out how to get to each other. One of the older hens took to a few babies and protected them, on day two she actually got all scratched up trying to get to the babies :-( So we finally let her have them(after her cuts healed)...all is well in our chicken pen ;-)

We have a new group that are being raised by the kids for 4H, they won't go out until spring, no telling how that will go, but hopefully we can get it all worked out :)

Good luck and I wish you much success!!!
I mixed 6 weeks old and maybe 9 weeks old and the older ones bully the young ones all the time. Even after 2 weeks now they chase the smaller ones around. The older ones I got as replaces for the 2 my dog killed. The older ones were in a small cage so they didn't seem to have socials skills or something. They laid down next to their food to eat, did not run or try to fly and would only eat chick starter. They are doing much better now but I am still bother by them pecking the younger chicks.
My two hens grew up with 3 cockerels, but then we gave the boys away and they've been alone for about 2 weeks now. There will be 6 younger chicks I want to put with the hens. At least there will be a lot of the young ones vs only two older hens. They have time yet, hopefully when the time comes it'll be ok :D. I guess if they haven't hurt the younger chicks, it'll be ok. Hope it works itself out soon!
When we integrate chicks into the flock, we corner off a section of the coop and put them in there. That way they can see the others, and the others can see them. When we let them out, there is no fighting.
scottyhorses idea comboed with supervised 'play dates' as they get confident with each other shoud hopefuly get them introduced.
its how mine used to do it,until this place put a ban on allowing chickens to free range.
however am guesng are aware much older birds are very teritorial,we have a seven year old ex bat who is on her own as she isnt one for networking with other birtds-she beats even our toughest cocks up despite sounding like a frail grandma.

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