Help with adding chickens to flock.......age??


9 Years
Jun 17, 2010
Northern, CA
Hello. At the moment I have two 4 week old chicks in a brooder in my garage (buff orpington and barred rock) and 5 chickens in an outdoor coop (two white rocks, two silkies, and a tiny white chicken which i am unsure about breed). I was wondering when the right age would be to add the two new chicks into the flock. I'm also worried that they will be picked on when I do put them together, so is there a way i can prevent this? Also my chicks are on a recommended diet until they reach 18 weeks of age....won't they need to be in the outside coop by then? And if they are in the outside coop they would be sharing food with the older chickens (they are eating laying mash). So what do I do???


10 Years
Sep 5, 2009
North Alabama

They will be picked on when you integrate them. However, if there is some way you can make a seperate pen inside your coop where they can be in there with the others for awhile, the integration will not be as bad. I have a sererate section in my coop just for this purpose. Aftyer brooding, I put them in there for a month or so, until they are big enough, then turn them out. In that time, the bigger chickens are used to seeing them and hearing them. It has worked very well for me. They get picked on a little. But nowhere near as bad as if they had just met them. As far as the food, there really isn't a way to keep them from sharing that I know of.

Edited for clarity.
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10 Years
Sep 6, 2009
Le Roy, NY
in my experience, adult chickens will often pick on the younger ones, even if they are almost full grown. Seems like the young ones don't have the self confidence to defend themselves. I would wait to introduce them until they are near full grown. I introduced 3 chickens to my flock that were 4-5 months old and they were picked on by all the others, they are nearly 6 months old now and are just starting to realize they can defend themselves. I consider my flock to be pretty nice birds too, they didn't bother the adult hens (1yr old) when I introduced them at all. I too have chicks (12 wks old) and will not be introducing them to the adults until full size. I have my coop separated into 2 sections just for reasons like this.

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