combining diff age chicks


14 Years
Apr 12, 2009
Vashon, WA
Hi all, I have a question about combining my two groups of chicks. The older girls are 8 weeks old (mixed group of : 3 welsummers, a barnevelder and a turken), and have been out in our new coop for a week and a half now. They seem pretty happy, and we should have their run functional by this weekend for outdoor access.

Inside in a brooder box we have two more, 5 week old EEs. I would love to move these girls out of my kitchen and into the coop with the older girls. They got along fine a few weeks ago when they were all in brooder boxes in the kitchen. I had lids off the boxes and they were often right together. However when I've tried to introduce them to the coop this week for short visits they seem very frightened. The turken chases and pecks at them and they end up huddled in the corner under the water. I've no idea why it has to be the water corner, but they got pretty wet last time by bumping and sloshing there.

Should I try introducing them at night? If I just put them in there and leave it be will the situation settle down? The other five girls really don't do any pecking at one another and seem quite peaceful. I worry the turken will be too mean to them though based on her chasing routine.

I'm sure they will be okay temp wise. They've been without a heat source for more than a week, and we don't have heat on in the house. Outdoor evening temps don't go that low at this time of year and the older girls seem very comfortable in the coop.

Thanks for any advice!

The villian
, roosting with giant Henrietta, the one we think is the real top hen
I would try to put them in the coop with the others BUT in a seperate brooder with chicken wire for sides so they can see and get used to each other. I don't think I would try mixing them until the little ones are around 2 months.
I have the same thing going on right now. My 8 yr old grandson built the brooder out of 2x4's and left over chicken wire. I built the hinged lid on top. So, it's easy and quick.
I let the little ones out into the coop when the older girls are outside in the run to let them run around.
It'll be easier to introduce them to each other now than to wait. I agree with the others but do it quickly.

We've got our 5-week-old chicks in with our 3-month-old pullets. The pullets and the adults hens didn't get along, so we had to integrate them with the younger birds rather than in with the older ones. It's so infuriating b/c our neighbors' chicks (same age) are all in with their adults, no problems.
I was thinking that if I put their brooder box in the coop, the older hens would sit on top and make a huge mess of it, pooping on the screen covering it. I wouldn't like to be underneath that
Well, I just took their brooder box out to the coop. They look a little nervous, but nothing like the way they were scared a few days ago when loose. Hopefully I can pull them out of the box to mix with the others within a day or so? It will be really hard to keep food and water going in the brooder box, we've been checking and refilling those indoors 5 or 6 times a day so we could keep the containers small and leave them room to run around. They are not tidy with their food and water, that is for sure.

Thanks everyone for the encouragement! I'm sure this is an oft repeated thread, and I did read through several others from the archives. But I still ended up with scared chicken mommy questions.
And you know I went back a few minutes later and put the lid to the brooder part way off to give them an escape hatch in case they had a problem. The had a few interactions with the big girls checking them out. Now they are pecking in the brooder looking relaxed and the big girls have calmed down and are either roosting or sleeping in a pile in the back of the coop. This might work! At least I know they all ate and drank before I got started, so no one will get stressed too quickly from lack of either if they get confused and can't figure things out.

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