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are my chicks ready to mix with adult flock?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by 2overeasy, Jul 5, 2010.

  1. 2overeasy

    2overeasy Chirping

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    May 28, 2010
    Birchwood, TN
    I have 10 hens and 2 roosters that free raange the property during the day. I also have 18 chicks in a separate, covered run. 15 of the 18 are now 14 weeks old. the 3 others are 12 weeks old.
    The 15 are a mixture of 4 Orpingtons, (1 cockerel), 3 Barred Rocks (1 cockerel), 3 Polish pullets, 2 cochin pullets, 1 splash andalusian pullet, and 2 EE pullets.
    The 3 younger ones are frizzle cochins (1 cockerel) and 1 Naked Neck (cockerel).
    The living quarters: My chicken house is 12x24. It is divided in half with a divider and a door in between. On the right side re nesting boxes and roosts and a hatch door where the grown flock can come and go to fenced area with additional gate to our yard and horse pastures.
    The left side opens to a completely covered 12x12 run. This is where the chicks have been kept. They have all grown too big to live in that are comfortably so I've improvised a gate where I can open them up to go out to a 1 acre fenced wooded area. The only thing that comes through there is my barn cat who doesn't give them the time of day.
    All, of course, get locked up at night.
    So my question is this: My larger breed chicks like the BR and Orpingtons are big enough to hold their own with the grown flock. However, others, like the frizzles and the Polish aren't (I don't think).
    Should I wait til they are all big enough to mix, or begin mixing the larger chicks w/the grown-ups and do the rest later? My concern with that is that introducing the younger chicks later might further make them vulnerable to attack.
    Thanks. sorry this is long but I thought the more info the better!
     

  2. PortageGirl

    PortageGirl Songster

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    Nov 8, 2008
    Portage County, Ohio
    My opinion is that since they all are used to free ranging already to varying degrees, (I think... I'm trying to re-read it all but it sounds like they all get out but in separate areas? )

    Anyway, if they're used to each other due to sharing the divided coop space, and all are used to being outside, I'd mingle them outdoors when you can be there to keep an eye on things. I find that when they have plenty of room to stay away from each other in a yard or pasture or whatever, there isn't too much of a problem. ...this is not a guarantee of course! LOL

    There will be great confusion when it comes to going back into the coop of course!!! The old flock won't want to let them into their side of the coop, so you can either take down the divider, or let it stand and let the new kids stay over there.... heh, if you take down or open up the divider, they'll each go to their normal roosts anyway. You could go out in the middle of the night and put the new kids on the roosts with the older flock so they wake up together, but I'd probably wait a few days on that step, but that's just me.
     
  3. 2overeasy

    2overeasy Chirping

    231
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    May 28, 2010
    Birchwood, TN
    Yes, they are used to seeing each other, and have for about 7 weeks. But I can't take down the divider beacuse it's a wall 2/3 up with chicken wire the last 1/3, and a door w/hinges. however, I can open the door between so it stands open. I guess my biggest issue, then, would be to get them safely to their respective roosts at night.
    Thank you for the advice - much appreciated!
     

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