Idea for integrating new chicks into flock

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by mr.hutch23, Sep 28, 2011.

  1. mr.hutch23

    mr.hutch23 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 30, 2010
    I have one SS rooster, one SS hen and 5 Austalorp hens in my coop, all five months old. I have 15 day old chicks coming next week, they will go in the brooder in the basement. We are in Northern VT. Everything I have read tells me not to try to put the younger chicks in the coop with the older until they are the same size. The problem is I don't think my 6'x6' pen in the basement is big enough to hold 15 birds until they are full-size (Dominiques and SS). I have a couple of different ideas on how to handle this:

    1. Put all the new birds in the coop at 8-10 weeks old. Perhaps there are enough of them that the size/age difference won't lead to attacks. (unlikely)
    2. Between 8-10 weeks let the birds free-range in the backyard together. One day put'em all back in the outdoor coop together.
    3. At 8-10 weeks swap housing. Putting the 7 older birds in the basement pen and the 15 new birds in the outdoor coop (8'x14'). After 2-3 nights start putting the older birds back in the outdoor coop 1-2 at a time, each day, until they are all in the outdoor coop together. (This sounds kind of weird but I'm leaning this way)

    Your comments and suggestions are much appreciated.
     
  2. debs_flock

    debs_flock Overrun With Chickens

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    Sep 14, 2011
    Shingle Springs, CA
    I tried #1 and they tried to kill the younger girls.

    Then I went to #3 and now my 2 2+ mos old pullets have been with my 14 4+ mos old flock for about a week now. The younger girls still spend most of their day avoiding the older, but they are all living together.

    Deb
     
  3. fresheggs4u

    fresheggs4u Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 6, 2007
    The way I make it work is that I have two runs side by side the new chicks are in one and the older birds in the adjoining one. The only thing between them is chicken wire.

    I let them get used to each other from a few weeks old to about 8 weeks. Then I put the young birds in with the older ones and have never had a problem. I sometimes will throw feed in the fence row and force them to get close to each other at a young age.

    This works for me.

    I use this all the time as i raise my own meat birds and have young ones all the time as well as older ones.
     
  4. mr.hutch23

    mr.hutch23 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 30, 2010
    I don't have a run, just a coop and a very large (~1 acre) backyard. Plus will be at the beginning of Vermont winter when these birds are 8 weeks old, which adds additional problems. I would love to hear more suggestions on how to accomplish a smooth transition.
     

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