How old before they join the flock.

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by sgray136, Mar 14, 2008.

  1. sgray136

    sgray136 Chillin' With My Peeps

    192
    0
    139
    May 11, 2007
    Huntertown, Indiana
    I recently lost two of four chicks that were my first bator hatch. My fault, apparently I put them in with the hens too soon. The Roo had no problem with them but apparently their mothers did. The two black Orps that laid the eggs were the aggressors.

    Luckily my favorite survived by hiding in a nesting box until I could come to the rescue. She is a Black Orp / White Silkie cross. She is all black with feathers on her legs and a tuft on her head. It will be interesting to see how she feathers out when she is older.

    Is there a standard length of time or age that one can begin considering introducing the new birds to the flock?
     
  2. tebs78

    tebs78 Chillin' With My Peeps

    454
    0
    139
    Jan 1, 2008
    I don't know and I hope others chime in, but I THINK some one said or I heard/read 6 weeks when they are fully feathered out??

    How old were your chicks?
     
  3. sgray136

    sgray136 Chillin' With My Peeps

    192
    0
    139
    May 11, 2007
    Huntertown, Indiana
    My chicks hatched out on Feb 9th so they were four plus weeks old and fully feathered out...
     
  4. 1acrefarm

    1acrefarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 3, 2007
    Georgia
    It somewhat depends on your older chickens. It is generally best to wait until they get full size though. I slowly integrated some 2 month olds and got lucky. Edited to say do not try this. Also the slow integration took about a month so they were actually 3 months when they were together permanent which would still be too risky.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2008
  5. Justino

    Justino ♪♫ Rockin' Rooster ♪♫

    5,110
    25
    281
    Dec 21, 2007
    KY
    what i did was seprate the coop with chicken wire and let them free range together at 6 or 7 weeks old. there was some pecking but nothing to bad...and at 6months(I think....maybe earlier) i put them together but made sure there wasnt any place the small ones sould get trapped in and be attacked....turned out fine!
     
  6. Frozen Feathers

    Frozen Feathers Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 4, 2007
    Maine
    Personally I wouldn't add new chicks to your flock until they are at least 3/4 or the same size of the girls already in there. You should have an area where you keep the young ones so your older ones can't get at them, but see them and somewhat socialize. If you can have supervised free-range sessions, I believe that also helps. That way you are right there if one of the older girls try to start something and you can step right in. My last bunch of chicks were successfully introduced into the main flock somewhere around 12 weeks, using the free-ranging method and keeping them in a separate area of my coop. They will still try to establish pecking order, but it is not near as harsh or deadly as just adding young, or even new older, birds immediately into the flock.

    They however can be outside permanently at 5-6 weeks, but again you'll want to keep the away from the older birds.
     
  7. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

    7,505
    19
    301
    Jan 30, 2007
    WV
    I don't put my younger pullets in with the adults til they are almost the same in size..16 to 17 weeks....Older birds can be very aggressive and starve out the younger set unless they have extra feeders and waterers plus enough space to get away from the older flock....

    Chicks don't fully feather out til they are 8 to 10 weeks....
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2008

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by