Forced intergration


In the Brooder
8 Years
Apr 6, 2011
Colorado Springs, CO, USA
Ok, I know that it takes time for new flocks to settle out, but I just want a little feedback.

This past weekend, we set our 8 week old pullets out in our run. We divided the run and transferred their brooder out there too. We had to nearly fully enclose it so that our Colorado biting wind wouldn't get to them inside their brooder. However, because their brooder is an old MDF dresser that we converted into a brooder, we haven't room to get the heat lamp inside without possibly causing a fire.

Our older gals seemed fine with the new babies. They even seemed indifferent. However, last night's sudden drop in temps along with wind chill and gusts of wind around 20-40 mph, prompted us to force the integration so that the babies would have the benefit of the old gals body heat and the heat lamp inside the much larger coop. All the chickens made it through the night just fine, but this morning my top gal kicked them all out and spent the morning being quite rude.

Since my big girls don't mind the cold at all, I put the babies into the coop with their food and water, then shut the door. I will keep a weather-eye on the big girls and let them in if needed before dark.

Does anyone have any thoughts on how to keep the babies in the coop with the big gals so they can be warm?

Thank you in advance for your thoughts and advice!
how big is your coop? I put mine in a dog crate at night for about a week and then let everyone together. Once they are roosted at night it is dark and they are fine (since they can't see anyway) Mine are still 2 separate groups and the babes are at the low end of the pecking order but there isn't any blood shed.

I started putting them together at 5 weeks and they were together full time by 6.5 they are now 10 weeks old.

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