Integrating chicks with teenagers

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by JayDe, Nov 29, 2009.

  1. JayDe

    JayDe Songster

    Aug 5, 2009
    Lithia, FL
    Here's our scenario:
    16 week old EEs (3 pullets) who live outside in a coop and free range most of the day. They make adult noises now, but no eggs yet.
    Silkies (3 unknown sex) and Buff Orpingtons (1 pullet, 1 roo) who range from 6-8 weeks old and live inside our rabbit hutch brooder on the porch. They are all still making baby noises. They go out with us at least an hour a day to "free range" under supervision and the "big" girls have come by to check them out. One EE came today and pecked around on the ground with the chicks without pecking at the chicks. She did peck at one silkie's breast where it had those fluffy feathers that were coming off, but it looked like she was preening it. My "alpha" EE pullet came into the group running, and when one of the silkies faced her, she pecked it on the head twice. The silkie didn't cry out or anything, and just stayed there, so I don't know how hard it was. When I said, "Be Nice Lovely" she wandered off, her sisters following behind her.

    What I'm wondering is, are we doing this right? Letting them naturally interact during shared free ranging time under our supervision? Will the EEs pecking hurt the silkie's heads?

    I've found a lot of advice on integrating chicks with ADULTS, but these have only been in the coop themselves for 7 weeks or so. Does that make any difference with how they integrate? They aren't ready to go in the coop yet, as it just started getting cold here in FL and I don't think they are fully feathered, but are getting close. We could keep them in the hutch until they don't fit, but is earlier integration to the coop better or worse?

    Thanks for any advice, stories that will help!
  2. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    Will the EEs pecking hurt the silkie's heads?

    In a word yes. I would keep them seperate, but in view of each other until they are of similiar size. Good luck


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