Can I integrate a 7 week old chick into the flock/coop?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by ZoeNightshade, Oct 15, 2010.

  1. ZoeNightshade

    ZoeNightshade New Egg

    Oct 15, 2010
    I have a seven week old BR chick that I have been raising in my kitchen in a large box. There were originally two chicks, but one died unfortunately. Now the chick seems sad and lonely and crying. When can I move her to the coop (where I have 3 six month old hens)? I've been putting her outside with the hens as they freerange during the day. But when I move her in at night, she cries and get agitated. Is she old enough to send to the coop? I've heard I should put her in at night, but how old should she be? I'm not sure she's big enough to jump up to the roost...
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Here is a page on integration:

    Once they are fully feathered (usually at 6 weeks), they can go out to the coop. It is especially difficult when adding just one chicken. I saw someone give this advice once (unfortunately I don't remember which BYC'er it was) and I really liked it:

    Take one of your flock away and add it to the chick. Now you have a flock of two. Wait a little while (I would guess a week or two) and then add BOTH chickens to the primary flock. Now you have two newbies instead of one- less pecking hopefully.

    The chicken that you take away from the flock will lose her status at the top of the pecking order for awhile if that's where she was. I have read that 2 weeks is good for this- but that might be too long for your situation.

    Last edited: Oct 15, 2010
  3. tammyd57

    tammyd57 Chillin' With My Peeps

    At 7 weeks she is ready to go outside full time, but she is probably still very much smaller than your older pullets. I would do what ChickensAreSweet suggested and give her an ally when she is introduced to the rest. If she has a buddy she will get picked on less.
  4. kathyinmo

    kathyinmo Nothing In Moderation

    7 weeks old is too young to be with 6 month old pullets. They could even kill the chick. I really would not put the chick out there with them. It would be pretty risky. It is best to integrate when the are the same size.
  5. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Quote:You know, after reading her post, I agree! If it were me, I would take a hen away from the flock and put her with the chick to see if she will be nice. Then I would leave them together but separate from the flock until the chick is older. If the hen is mean (you should definitely supervise this), then oh well, didn't work.

    Kathyinmo is right- older hens can kill 7 weeks old pullets if they are aggressive. It really depends on the breed and personality of the hens. The safe thing to do is supervise, supervise, supervise if you institute any changes. I have some hens that I wouldn't put a FULL GROWN newbie in with. Other hens I would.

    I know you will do what is right for your situation.

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