Integrating 4-week old chicks into 18-week flock?

lazylizzy

Chirping
May 22, 2020
23
49
59
Midwest, America
Hi All!!

I have three 18-week-old chickies (one rooster, two hens), and four 4-week old chickies. Not sure of any of the breeds, but I’m having fun trying to figure it out!

Now that it’s summer, I want the babies outside ASAP. Today I put the babies in a dog crate and stuck them in the run. It went really well, and the teenagers were pretty accepting.

So I put the crate into the coop for the night, and turned on the heat lamp. I just checked on them, and the babies had slipped through the bars of the crate and were walking around. The teenagers were roosting calmly, but I still put the babies back. The babies panicked and the Rooster came down to investigate, and sat on top of the crate.

My question is - is this ok? Will the teenagers kill the babies, even though they seem fine now? How long should I keep them separate, even though they did fine just now?

Here are some pics from when I just opened the coop:
 

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rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
Premium Feather Member
Jul 3, 2016
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How hot is it at night? You can probably kill the heat lamp at this point. I'd wrap the dog crate with smaller opening wire to keep chicks from popping out, just to be safe, as you can't supervise at night. If after a few days everything seems to be going well during the day with both groups, you can skip the cage and just plan on getting the pop door open early in the morning to let the chicks escape if they really need to (hopefully they won't).
 

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