How early can i integrate my chicks with the big flock?

Jemma Rider

Songster
Nov 25, 2017
456
484
141
Maryland
Okay so i just got my chicks they turned two weeks old yesterday. I have three chicks, one blue white crested polish, one porcelain d'uccle, and one dark cornish.
I have five adult chickens, two Easter Eggers, two Ameuraucanas, and one mixed breed rooster (his father was Brahma, his mother a mixed breed, i believe she has some jersey giant and silkie in her, rooster is very very large).
i need to integrate them as soon as possible, i am currently bringing them outside in a dog cage so they can be outside and the big birds don't seem very interested in the little ones.
i don't want to cut any corners but about how soon can they go outside (i know the little ones need to be as close in size to big ones as possible but time is not a luxury i have). I'm hoping if i just bring them out in the dog cage every day the bog birds will get used to them so when it's time for them to move in it's as peaceful as possible with small and few squabbles.
Huge thanks in advance :frow
 

rosemarythyme

Free Ranging
Jul 3, 2016
5,973
11,009
642
Pac NW
My Coop
My Coop
If you can make an area that's secure for just the chicks, they can stay out full time. No reason to brood indoors or in the garage during the summer, unless it's unreasonably hot.

Here's my BYC brooder page plus week-by-week integration notes. I brooded out in the run and the chicks started mingling with the adults at 2 weeks. They were fully moved into the coop with the adults at 5.5 weeks.
 

ButteCA

Songster
Apr 12, 2018
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555
167
24BA6A28-C831-4359-A004-017AAD4EC15A.jpeg
I’ve been wondering the same thing. I have my early June hatch out in a little rundown pin behind my back deck. I think they are still too little to deal with some of my bigger hens but my husband thinks I should let them out. They will probably stay in there for the remainder of July though.
 

Kmarkee

In the Brooder
Jun 1, 2018
28
40
47
I hatched 6 chicks out on Memorial Day. I put them outside in a smaller coop attached to the run and bigger coop with a brooder heater in the nesting area at 1 week. It was really warm here in the 90s day 70s night. The big girls and boy could see them all day. Monday I let them all out together to free range and they did fine so I removed the door between the two coops. Everyone was fine in the am when I let them out and everyone put themselves to bed tonight. I also have a broody with six chicks of her own in the big coop. The babies are 3 weeks with the broody and the other chicks are about 6 weeks. All seems to be going better than I expected.
 

ChickNanny13

Crossing the Road
6 Years
Jun 23, 2013
8,557
11,947
957
The Big Island/Hawaii
I've never tried/did integration but have read about "See but No Touch" ...
Section off part of the coop so the big ones can see but not injure the chicks, making the area large enough that you can keep the chicks food/water in their section. Or putting the chicks into a big wire cage w/food & water, put the cage IN the coop with the flock.

All the advice given above are good, do not leave the chicks alone with the flock unattended & unprotected.
 

Jemma Rider

Songster
Nov 25, 2017
456
484
141
Maryland
Thank you all, I'll figure something out, i don't want to put them in a situation where they could get hurt but i may not have a choice not to try to move the little ones in during week six.

Without a Momma Hen to protect them l personally would wait to at least 8 weeks before unsupervised commingling in the run/yard. Maybe longer depending on the size of the chicks.
If you can make an area that's secure for just the chicks, they can stay out full time. No reason to brood indoors or in the garage during the summer, unless it's unreasonably hot.

Here's my BYC brooder page plus week-by-week integration notes. I brooded out in the run and the chicks started mingling with the adults at 2 weeks. They were fully moved into the coop with the adults at 5.5 weeks.
View attachment 1463651 I’ve been wondering the same thing. I have my early June hatch out in a little rundown pin behind my back deck. I think they are still too little to deal with some of my bigger hens but my husband thinks I should let them out. They will probably stay in there for the remainder of July though.
I hatched 6 chicks out on Memorial Day. I put them outside in a smaller coop attached to the run and bigger coop with a brooder heater in the nesting area at 1 week. It was really warm here in the 90s day 70s night. The big girls and boy could see them all day. Monday I let them all out together to free range and they did fine so I removed the door between the two coops. Everyone was fine in the am when I let them out and everyone put themselves to bed tonight. I also have a broody with six chicks of her own in the big coop. The babies are 3 weeks with the broody and the other chicks are about 6 weeks. All seems to be going better than I expected.
I've never tried/did integration but have read about "See but No Touch" ...
Section off part of the coop so the big ones can see but not injure the chicks, making the area large enough that you can keep the chicks food/water in their section. Or putting the chicks into a big wire cage w/food & water, put the cage IN the coop with the flock.

All the advice given above are good, do not leave the chicks alone with the flock unattended & unprotected.
 

PetesChicks

Songster
Aug 21, 2016
298
471
162
Podunk, MA
If you can, section off an area of the coop for them like others have said. After a few days of “look don’t touch”, open up some little doors in the sectioned off area, that the littles can fit through but the bigs can’t. The will integrate on their own, but be able to run and hide if needed.

I started this method late, almost 4 weeks old, because of other stuff going on delaying it. By the 4th day, they were running all around the coop and only hiding from my BA. By the 7th day, they were going up the ramp to the roost every night after the big girls had settled in for the night. I left them their little area, with food and water, for another week after that, but mostly because I waited until the weekend to take it down. If I had more time, I would have taken it down a few days earlier.
 

Jemma Rider

Songster
Nov 25, 2017
456
484
141
Maryland
If you can, section off an area of the coop for them like others have said. After a few days of “look don’t touch”, open up some little doors in the sectioned off area, that the littles can fit through but the bigs can’t. The will integrate on their own, but be able to run and hide if needed.

I started this method late, almost 4 weeks old, because of other stuff going on delaying it. By the 4th day, they were running all around the coop and only hiding from my BA. By the 7th day, they were going up the ramp to the roost every night after the big girls had settled in for the night. I left them their little area, with food and water, for another week after that, but mostly because I waited until the weekend to take it down. If I had more time, I would have taken it down a few days earlier.
Wait so they were roosting at around five weeks old? That would be perfect, i mean i need to worry about how my rooster would react the girls wouldn't care about the chicks being around ultimately they'd put them in their place and move on but i don't know what my rooster would do. He just turned a year old so his hormones are still pretty out of wack but he's gotten a lot better recently, i don't know if he'd go after girls of they were to young, my older girls would probably protect them they protect each other and rooster is terrified of messing with the one.
I'll have to do more research on that but i feel like that would be the way to do it with my timeframe. And then i could leave the chick area up so they always have a means to escape.
 

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