I have 1wk old chicks & will have more April 16th - How to integrate?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Kelly G, Feb 25, 2009.

  1. Kelly G

    Kelly G It's like herding cats!

    Last Thursday I got my order of 16 chicks from Ideal (see list in my signature below).

    I was originally going to raise these 16 chicks then add about 10 more chicks in 6 months or so...the total (26) are a nice mix of all the breeds I've ever wanted to own (except Polish & Houdans - but I'll get those when I can accomodate them seperately).

    Then I got to reading here on BYC about all the problems people have been having integrating new birds with their existing flock. What a pain! I already have 5 Barred Rock hens that are 6 months old that will have to move in with the chicks when they're big enough to fend for themselves.

    So I thought that I'd go ahead and just order my other 10 from Ideal now - thinking the chicks would be a couple of weeks apart, but pretty close in age & likely to integrate easily. I got my confirmation email from Ideal today and the new chicks won't ship until APRIL 15!!!! The chicks will be 8 weeks apart! [​IMG]

    My current game-plan for the 16 chicks is four weeks (or so) in the brooder, then out to the brand new (but not pretty!) predator proof chicken coop to grow out. Once they were big enough to defend themselves (18 weeks or so), I was going to put the 5 Barred Rocks I already have (6mos old) into the new coop with them...my thinking is that the younger chicks would greatly outnumber the older pullets and they would have the "home turf" advantage (the Rocks are in an older, smaller coop right now.

    When should I put the April chicks in with the February chicks?

    Will I have a difficult time integrating chicks that are 8 weeks apart?

    Am I correct in my thinking that the 16 chicks (plus the 10 April chicks) will be able to hold their own against 5 pullets that are six months older?

    How much of a headache am I in for???

    I need help/input!
  2. Kelly G

    Kelly G It's like herding cats!

    Full disclosure: they call me "Kelly Dwelly" at work.

    Am I worrying for nothing?
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2009
  3. Kelly G

    Kelly G It's like herding cats!

    Can't anyone help me? [​IMG]
  4. crzychicken

    crzychicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 24, 2008
    i did this last July I got 5 and then my order for 26 was BO until the end of Aug my 5 were a good 8wks and the little ones still needed heat when the little one turned 6 weeks I took a rabbit hutch and turn into a chick hut for the older chicks and the little one went in the house during the day They would be outside with a fence between for about 2 weeks than I would take down the divider and let them be together and yhea the bigger one's would chase the little ones and pick at them but I was right there. I would put the fence back up when I would leave i did this for 1 week, than I let them together for the day ( but they had plenty of hideing spots and a big area to run away) and at night they would go in their own coops for 1 week. Then one night I just put them all together at dark it was dark for about 1hour and that was it intergraded I could have done it maybe a little quicker but it all worked out
    Good luck after you do it they work it out [​IMG]
  5. Kung Foo Chicken

    Kung Foo Chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    I did this last year. It was the same as adding to the adult flock. They weren't quite that far difference in age but, close. I used an outdoor chick cage and put all the smaller chicks into it. I added one larger chick to the smaller chicks for a couple of days. In that time the one larger chick had bonded with the smaller chicks after a few more days I added another, then another. The larger chick didn't attack the smaller ones because it was lonely and joined them.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2009

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