Brooding chicks in a coop with older hens?

Sunny Chicks

Songster
6 Years
May 18, 2013
103
3
104
i was wondering if I could brood some baby chicks that will be arriving this week in my older girls coop outside? My plan is to have the chicks in a large steel dog crate that we've brooded all our chickens in before, then keep them in there possibly with a heat lamp at night (not sure how to rig that up in the coop without having the other hens try and mess with it, unless the lamp is hung within the dog crate?). I wanted some people's thoughts on this idea, and any tips people have! I've read on here that people keep the chicks separate from the older flock for about 10 weeks until the chicks are bigger, but I was also not sure if I should fence off part of the coop for the chicks once they'be graduated from the crate? I have a chicken tractor that I would put the chicks in during the day once they're out of the brooder, around 5 weeks. Would the tractor be a good way to keep the chicks separate from the flock until the 10 week mark?
 

PD-Riverman

Crowing
8 Years
Jan 14, 2012
5,007
1,302
406
Conway SC
i was wondering if I could brood some baby chicks that will be arriving this week in my older girls coop outside? My plan is to have the chicks in a large steel dog crate that we've brooded all our chickens in before, then keep them in there possibly with a heat lamp at night (not sure how to rig that up in the coop without having the other hens try and mess with it, unless the lamp is hung within the dog crate?). I wanted some people's thoughts on this idea, and any tips people have! I've read on here that people keep the chicks separate from the older flock for about 10 weeks until the chicks are bigger, but I was also not sure if I should fence off part of the coop for the chicks once they'be graduated from the crate? I have a chicken tractor that I would put the chicks in during the day once they're out of the brooder, around 5 weeks. Would the tractor be a good way to keep the chicks separate from the flock until the 10 week mark?
I Never Mix, but what you are saying will work. If the chicks are a day or two old they will for sure need some heat. You can securely hang a light inside the crate and use a smaller incandescent bulb to get the temp right---100, 75, 60, 40, 25 watt bulb to get the temp on the floor below the light in the 90's for the first few days then high 80's for the next week, etc.
Make sure the crate has no holes big enough for the chicks to get out. Also keep in mind that small chicks like that draw snakes as well as rats, etc---so keep that in mind.
 

Sunny Chicks

Songster
6 Years
May 18, 2013
103
3
104
I Never Mix, but what you are saying will work. If the chicks are a day or two old they will for sure need some heat. You can securely hang a light inside the crate and use a smaller incandescent bulb to get the temp right---100, 75, 60, 40, 25 watt bulb to get the temp on the floor below the light in the 90's for the first few days then high 80's for the next week, etc.
Make sure the crate has no holes big enough for the chicks to get out. Also keep in mind that small chicks like that draw snakes as well as rats, etc---so keep that in mind.
Thank you! And I was planning on going around the crate with some wire mesh/fencing that we made their run out of so that the chicks can't get out, and no one can get in. I'm thinking it should work well. Also, would raising the chicks in the coop help the older hens be more accepting of them?
 

PD-Riverman

Crowing
8 Years
Jan 14, 2012
5,007
1,302
406
Conway SC
Thank you! And I was planning on going around the crate with some wire mesh/fencing that we made their run out of so that the chicks can't get out, and no one can get in. I'm thinking it should work well. Also, would raising the chicks in the coop help the older hens be more accepting of them?
Should, but use caution the day you decide to put them together. Some hens are sweet---some are as mean as the Devil! Good Luck
 

Windy_Acres

Songster
Mar 3, 2015
118
139
141
Ontario, Canada
2 years in a row I've put my chicks in like you're saying, in the coop, but separated. Around 3 weeks old, I propped the door open a little so the chicks could get in and out into the rest of the coop, but the big chickens couldn't get through into the chicks space. Worked perfectly- at 7 weeks, this batch of chicks is nearly fully integrated, even sleeping with the big girls for a few weeks now.
 

Sunny Chicks

Songster
6 Years
May 18, 2013
103
3
104
2 years in a row I've put my chicks in like you're saying, in the coop, but separated. Around 3 weeks old, I propped the door open a little so the chicks could get in and out into the rest of the coop, but the big chickens couldn't get through into the chicks space. Worked perfectly- at 7 weeks, this batch of chicks is nearly fully integrated, even sleeping with the big girls for a few weeks now.
Wow! That's awesome. I'll definitely hang around the day I integrate and just watch everyone closely. I've got some very sweet hens, but some get a little jealous of others and can just be a little bratty. Thank you guys for your help. I'm very excited about these chicks and will be glad to update you all on how it goes!
 

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