How young can you put chicks outside with adults?


12 Years
Feb 6, 2010
I have 7 different chicks that i want to put outside.
They will have plenty of different areas for shelter.
I only have two adult hens (one has already adopted one of the chicks).
They are different breeds (cochin/silkie mix, EEer, cornish cross, NHR/Buff Orph mix).
Is it too early to put them out there together?
They are 2-3 months old.
If there are more chicks than chickens and the chicks are fully feathered, I'd put them in at night. However, the best advice would be wait until they're all the same size.
I'm going to add 4 chicks to my current flock of 9. However, they're not going out full time until they are fully feathered, AND when I do put them out, they will be in a separate small coop with attached pen/run, inside the main run enclosure. That way the adults can see them, they can see the adults, but the big chickens cannot get to them until the young ones are larger. By then, they will not be strangers, and the only real problem will be establishing a new pecking order.
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I don't mix my chicks with the flock until they are about 2/3rds the size of the adults. Before that I house them in a grower pen within the henhouse/yard so they can see each other. I have noticed that the flock seems more accepting of new chicks that have been housed where they can see them for a few weeks.
I've always been told wait 5 months....then are are pretty much the same size.

But it may be okay where you only have 2 long as they are fully feathered
I will just tell you what I have done, I have a brooder set up in the chicken coop where the chicks will go at 3 weeks old. The ones in there now are 6 weeks old and I occasionally let them out to peck around the coop with the hens and there have been no problems besides a couple warning pecks from the big hens. I'm glad I have done it this way, it seems the chickens are mostly acclimated to each other.

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