How to integrate chicks into a mixed flock


Aug 17, 2018
I’m getting ready to integrate some chicks into my existing flock but wondered your thoughts. My usual integration process is pretty simple. I put the newbies in my second coop that shares a run wall with my main coop and keep them in the look but no touch set-up for about a month (shorter if an adult). Then a dog crate goes inside the main coop and run and the newbies are moved into the locked crate for about a week (again, usually shorter if an adult). If I’m integrating babies, I put chicken wire over the opening of the crate so only the babies can get in and out and keep that set-up for as long as needed (usually until they start roosting). This has been a successful process for me; however, I’m stuck with what to do for these babies.

I’m integrating 3 standard chicks but I now have a mixed flock of standard, giant and bantam chickens. The smaller bantams can most definitely fit through the openings that the chicks can fit through. The babies are smaller than the bantams, but not by much. So...I’ve had the chicks in the closed crates inside the coop and run for about 2 weeks now (they are moved into a tractor in the yard during part of the day) but I’m reluctant to start the open crate transition. A few of the bantams are a bit feisty and I’m not sure how they’d be with the chicks. Everyone free ranges during the day, but we’ve had hawks hanging around (and killing some of my chickens) over the past few months so everyone has been spending more time than usual in the (open) run.

It’s really only 2 of the bantams that I’m worried about. Probably about 5 could get into the crates but I’m guessing only 2 would do anything, potentially.

Any thoughts? Should I just go for it and see what happens?

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