How long do I wait to introduce my young chicks to older hens

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by FoghornTim, Oct 17, 2016.

  1. FoghornTim

    FoghornTim Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 17, 2015
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    My chicks now are 10 weeks old. I know they will get picked on if too small. My Astrolops are growing wonderfully. My small pin will be too small in a couple months and I need to make a move to the larger coop. What can I do to help in this with my chicken family.
     
  2. Flock Master64

    Flock Master64 Overrun With Chickens

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    Start now, just take all your chicks out to the older hens. Keep the chicks and hens In 2 separate pens that are right next to each other so they can see each other and communicate but not get physical
     
  3. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Next time you integrate young chicks, start much earlier with a panic room. That way you can achieve your goals in just a few weeks. Read my article in outdoor brooding linked below for how a panic room works.

    Meanwhile, follow the advice of FlockMaster and start exposing the chicks to the older chickens immediately. The chicks need protection until they get to know and understand the temperaments of the individuals in their flock. That way, when you let them all mingle, the chicks will know who to trust and who they need to flee.

    It really helps to have get-aways for the chicks to leap onto or run behind. Introduce some "furniture" into your run. Tree stumps, old chairs, and I recently found enormous value in an old card table.

    One of the main concerns will be assuring the chicks aren't chased away from their food and making sure they get enough to eat to complete their development. That's where the card table comes in.

    Normally, I keep chicks' food and water in their panic room, but yours are getting almost the size of the older chickens and a panic room isn't going to work for very long. If you place their food on top the card table, the chicks will find refuge there, as well as knowing they can eat in peace.

    Other high perches will ensure the chicks safety since adult chickens may mostly shun high perches in the run during the daytime. After a week of keeping the two groups separate, I would let them begin to mingle with the precautions I've mentioned.
     
  4. cheep82

    cheep82 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 8, 2016
    Australia
    I've found this interesting, thanks. We've got some chicks that will need to be integrated but are currently 2 weeks and unknown (they're older than 2 weeks).
     

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