How do they mix??

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Ruth Ann, Feb 19, 2011.

  1. Ruth Ann

    Ruth Ann Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 13, 2010
    South Carolina
    I am new at chickens...less than a year at chicken mommyhood.
    We have 8 laying hens...they will be 1 year old in March.

    Well as any good chicken addict...I want more. [​IMG] [​IMG]
    But how is this going to work??

    How do I mix the flock ? I know the first few weeks they will live inside at night...
    but in the day I will let them play outside.
    But what when the time comes do I need to do to keep them
    from being pecked to death by the older girls? How long do they have to be kept apart?
    What helps ease the transition?

    All comments welcome!!
  2. newchickmom

    newchickmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 8, 2007
    Lafayette, Indiana
    When mine are feathered out, I slowly introduce them by free-ranging them together for a while till they get used to each other. Then I move them to the big-girl coop. They usually have the pecking order figured out by then. [​IMG]
  3. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Free ranging together is good, especially if it's a large area where they can get away from each other. Treats to distract is good -- even the regular feed tossed on the ground will work. After some days together you can try placing them on the roost after dark, though it would be best if you can be present when they wake up if they are still small. It helps to have more than one feeder and waterer (you could just put something temporary out there for this.)

    The safest way to integrate young chickens is to fence them off from the older ones where they can still see each other until the young ones are full size. But if you supervise, and let them have their minor pecking conversations, you may find everything can become peaceful even when they are young. My broody raised chicks have been in with the flock since around 3 days old; I've never kept a group separate, but of course they have mommy to defend them. Sometimes a roo or one hen will take over being the protector when there is no mama; I've seen both happen. Every flock is a little different.

    Good luck.
  4. FMAFarms

    FMAFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 20, 2011
    Rural Michigan
    Keeping them separate but in full view of each other until the younger pullets are full grown is good. We have one friend who did that, then, at night when the older chickens were roosting, he brought the younger ones into their coop. Apparently, this fools the chickens, who assume they just have never noticed the new arrivals, while the new arrivals just assume they've been there all along. Good luck!
  5. imthedude

    imthedude Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 9, 2010
    last fall when introducing some delawares to my flock of bigger birds, i drove 4 t-posts in the ground and made a small pen out of chicken wire so that they could scratch/play/eat/drink inside the pen while the big girls stood outside and watched. eventually the dels figured they could fly out and have the run of the yard. after a week or so of this and interacting with the big girls, i put the dels in the coop after dark one night and the next morning everything seemed to be fine so i left them and it worked out well. now they're part of the flock.
  6. babyrnlc

    babyrnlc Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 30, 2011
    Tulsa, Ok
    We have a two story coop that is two separated coops that open into one run. I temporarily made the bottome coop door too small for the big girls and my 2 month old is in there. (She had a mate, but the dog got it [​IMG] ) She is happy in there, she can go out if she wants to. I have caught her up in the coop with the big girls a few times, but most of the time she stays down in the bottom one. (I think she goes up after they go to bed lol) They free range together, but she hangs out by me cause the big girls are a bit jealous I think.

    I plan to do that with the other chicks that will be going in there in about a month. I am hoping she will be ok in the top coop so I can put the other chicks in the bottom.
  7. Ruth Ann

    Ruth Ann Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 13, 2010
    South Carolina
    Thanks for the tips...

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