How should I incorporate chicks into the big coop?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by stone_family3, Mar 4, 2013.

  1. stone_family3

    stone_family3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 11, 2011
    Ohio
    Right now my chicks are 4 weeks old, they are in a brooder in the coop. My question is what is the best way to incorporate them? When should they be incorporated?
     
  2. danab

    danab Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have added baby chicks once to an established flock. I originally make a small temporary pen just outside of the main run. I put the new chicks in that pen during the days, provided its warm enough around weeks 3-6. Then I just throw them into the main run once I think they are feathered out enough to handle the cold of the night.
    I added 6 chicks to a flock of 4 laying hens that had been established over 4 years ago. The little ones took some abuse for a few months, but none were injured that I saw. It took the new girls about two months before they were allowed by the big girls to go inside the coop and sleep on the roosts. Thankfully the weather in So Cal is mild, and they had no problems sleeping outside at night from about 6 weeks old.

    Don't know if this helps. But I have 12 week old OE's that I will be doing the same way. This time I may put up the small temporary pen inside the run prior to just letting them loose. But my established hens are pretty tame, so I don't think the pecking and bullying will do any permanent damage to the new additions.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2013
  3. 4 the Birds

    4 the Birds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 15, 2010
    Westfield, Indiana
    I would wait another 3 or 4 weeks before you add them to the flock. Ideally it would be great if they are in an area that they can see the flock and the flock can see them to get acquanited. Feed several bread scraps or treats out on the ground for all the chickens when you incorporate.

    I keep chicks in a garage brooder until 6 weeks old and then 2 more weeks in a coop area that is isolated from the flock. After that they mix seamlessly with the flock. Hope this helps.

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    Last edited: Mar 5, 2013

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