I'm new at this and need some help PLEASE!!!!!

maryroberson76

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 23, 2013
9
0
14
alabama
My son and I got 10 Chickens 1 Rooster. A friend of his has chicken houses and gave him them at 4 weeks old.. We have had them 3 months and they are very big. new he has accumulated 10 road island reds, and 5 dominickers these are babys still not but 4 weeks old and little compaired to the others. how do i put them in with the other chickens, with out them getting hurt and how old do i need them to be before i do it. Any advise would be helpful.
 

Rich386

Songster
8 Years
Jul 21, 2011
718
49
123
Live Oak, FL
My son and I got 10 Chickens 1 Rooster. A friend of his has chicken houses and gave him them at 4 weeks old.. We have had them 3 months and they are very big. new he has accumulated 10 road island reds, and 5 dominickers these are babys still not but 4 weeks old and little compaired to the others. how do i put them in with the other chickens, with out them getting hurt and how old do i need them to be before i do it. Any advise would be helpful.
WHAT WORKS BEST IS IF THEY ARE PENNED UP SEPARATELY BUT CAN SEE EACH OTHER AND INTERACT THROUGH THE FENCE. AFTER A WEEK OR TWO THEY USUALLY ACCEPT EACH OTHER.
 

lilchick

Songster
11 Years
May 23, 2008
1,289
29
161
Williamsport In.
I have even placed a cage in the coop and put the new additions in it for a few days. A pain to have to feed and water them that way but it usually works out. After a few days of seeing each other they accept them so when cage is removed they intermingle freely.
This also works well when a chicken is removed for awhile and needs to be reintroduced back into the flock.
 

4 the Birds

Songster
9 Years
Oct 15, 2010
1,490
104
163
Westfield, Indiana
My son and I got 10 Chickens 1 Rooster. A friend of his has chicken houses and gave him them at 4 weeks old.. We have had them 3 months and they are very big. new he has accumulated 10 road island reds, and 5 dominickers these are babys still not but 4 weeks old and little compaired to the others. how do i put them in with the other chickens, with out them getting hurt and how old do i need them to be before i do it. Any advise would be helpful.
I would wait for chicks to reach at least 6 weeks to go from a brooder into the coop. By then they will be mostly all feathered out and able to run or defend themselves from the adult birds in the flock. You can make a brooder area in your garage. This way you can also use a brooder lamp for warmth until they get feathered out. We put the 6 week olds in the coop but isolated another 2 weeks to get acquainted with the flock. If you cannot do this then maybe give them another week in the brooder and slowly introduce them into the coop/flock while feeding treats or bread and hope for the best. A pecking order will need to be worked out. Hope this helps!

In the brooder


6 weeks old.... out in the coop isolation area for a couple weeks before joining the flock
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,301
20,173
907
Southeast Louisiana
The way I read this there are two questions. One is how old do they need to be to take the weather. The other involves integration. With both of them, there is some “it depends”.

I see you are in Alabama. You should be getting fairly warm but we set a record low here this morning. I don’t know what is going on down there where you are. In the heat of summer, I’ve seen a broody take her 2 week old chicks to the roosts where she could not cover then at night. They were fine. In our triple digit heat wave last summer I turned the daytime heat off after 2 days and the overnight heat off after 5 days. My brooder is in my coop. In colder weather I’ve kept heat on the chicks until they were 5 weeks old, but I’ve had 5-1/2 week olds see overnight lows in the mid 20’s and do OK. These were in an unheated grow-out coop with good draft protection.

When you can remove the heat depends on the weather obviously. I think how draft free where they are and how well they have been acclimated has a bit top do with it too. But I’ll go with 5 to 6 weeks as being pretty safe where you are this time of year unless you have some really unusual conditions.

The integration part is a bit harder. You have a few different things to worry about. One is that chickens recognize the chickens that belong to their flock. Occasionally one or more will attack strange chickens. This does not happen every time but it happens often enough for it to be a concern. This is where housing them next to each other for a while can help. They seem to accept each other’s right to exist.

Another problem is the pecking order. Social animals like a herd of cattle or a pack of wolves or a flock of chickens need to know their social rank in the herd, pack, or flock. This is often determined by fighting. What I normally see in a flock is when two chickens share personal space and they don’t know which one outranks the other, one of them pecks the other or somehow tries to intimidate it. If one runs away, the issue is settled, though there might be a bit of chasing involved to drive home the message. If one does not run away then it can get violent. Usually one quickly determines its better off to run away so it gets settled, but sometimes it really gets violent. It’s important that the weaker has room to run away. That’s my main point to all this. They need the room to run away.

The other thing you’ll see is that chickens are bullies. Older chickens seem to want to go after young chicks. Not all of them do this but a lot will. The younger the chicks are the more risk they are in. I’ve seen hens wean their chicks by 4 weeks and those chicks were able to make their own way with the flock, but that hen had just spent a few weeks teaching the rest of the flock to leave her babies alone. Plus I have a lot of room. Those chicks can run away if they are attacked. They quickly learn to just stay away from the older chickens. That’s why you’ll often see them form their own separate flock until they are old enough to fight their way into the pecking order.

I think when you can integrate the chicks depends partly on the personality of your older chickens. Some are more brutes and bullies than others. Part of it depends on how familiar they are with each other. And part depends on how much room they have to run away and avoid the older ones.

I raise my chicks in a brooder in the coop and my grow-out coop and run is right next to the older chickens. They see each other from Day 1. I have a lot of room. Usually I let mine mingle with the adults at 8 weeks and I’ve never had a problem, which means I’m being too cautious. If space is tight you might need to wait until the young ones are practically grown to integrate them. There is no one right age for all of us. We just have too many different situations and conditions for that.

When you integrate obviously provide as much room as you can. This includes extra roost space. I see more brutality on the roosts as they are settling down for the night than anywhere else. I also recommend you provide separate feeding and watering areas so the young can eat and drink without challenging the older ones.

A lot of the time the integration goes so smoothly you wonder what all the worry was about. Occasionally it gets really violent. I wish you luck with yours.
 

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