Chicks introduction to older chicks that free range

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by FireGurl26, May 27, 2016.

  1. FireGurl26

    FireGurl26 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So, my RIR pullets are almost 7 weeks old and out in the coop and run. They will start free-ranging next Thursday. (I wanted to give them 2 weeks in the coop and run to know where home is). I now have 4 Barred Rock and 3 Silver laced Wyandotte pullets that are 4 days old and in the brooder til about 5 or 6 weeks old. I am hoping someone has some words of wisdom as to how to bring the new ones into the coop/run when they are correct age and still alow my RIRs to free range while keeping the new girls in the coop and run for at least a week till they free-range. Any ideas? Should I keep the run door closed so the new girls can't get out? Will it be an issue if the RIRs that are free ranging want to come into the run/coop during the day? My plan is to keep a feeder and waterer outside of the run and coop for the ones free-ranging and of course to have feeder and waterer in the run for the others that aren't. I do not want to put and food or water in the coop itself. I lock up the chicken door of the coop at night and open it first thing in the morning. The chickens just go in to the coop to sleep. Or is it ok to jut let the new girls free-range right out of the brooder? Will they follow the older chicks clues of when to come in the run and coop? The thing that worries me is keeping that run door closed....in case it starts to rain or they need to seek shelter for some reason. Anyone have any ideas on how to make this all work. Any input would be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. TheMauveDuck

    TheMauveDuck Out Of The Brooder

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    I don't know if it's too late for advice but you could keep them all in the run together so they can get used to each other and then once you let them free-range again the little ones should follow the older ones lead. You just might want to make sure that if they're all in the run together the little ones aren't picked on. I hope this helped.
     
  3. FireGurl26

    FireGurl26 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Never too late for advice. I have about 5 to 6 weeks to think about all options...so I am worrying early on..lol. I read on a post that introducing new chicks at nighttime on the roost seems like a very good idea...when the older girls get all settled down. Maybe when they don't notice them and they all wake in the morning I can make lots of noise with food and such that they will be too pre-occupied to notice new members of the flock and might be more gentler with the pecking order. I guess the other thing i can do is to not allow my older chicks to free range until my newer chicks have at least one week in the run and coop. Which would be 6 to 7 weeks from now. Or like you said....let my older girls free-range till i get the new ones out to the coop and then keep them all in the run...seperated by fence until the new girls get used to home. I dunno if this would cause my older girls to be more aggressive though...since they were free-ranging and now they are locking up in the coop/run again for a week or so. Hmm? So, many things to think abaout
     
  4. TheMauveDuck

    TheMauveDuck Out Of The Brooder

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    I know, there's so many different opinions out there it's hard to know what will work for your birds
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Yeah, maybe, but often does not work......Like bobbie-j sez: "chickens aren't the brightest animals on this planet, but they're not that stupid."

    You're not 'worrying' too early, you are figuring out a plan before you are in crisis mode...that's a good thing.
    Splitting the coop and run, if at all possible, will make things much easier.
    Letting them live side by side 24/7, separated by wire as soon as possible.
     

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