Integrating chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Deb T, Apr 2, 2017.

  1. Deb T

    Deb T Out Of The Brooder

    123
    9
    48
    Dec 5, 2016
    Nevada Tx
    Ok ive read several threads about this and want to make sure i understand correctly. My chicks are 4 weeks. I just recently took away the heat lamp. I think it scared them that it wasn't on last night. They were NOT huddling so i don't think they were cold. I am planning on keeping the heat lamp away for a few more nights but then i want to start integrating them. There is a space under the nest boxes in my coop that would be great for a safe spot for them. I just need to add wire to seclude them from the older hens. And put a door on it to have access to it. I was thinking about putting the 4 week olds in there for a day trip then back in the house at night for a couple of days to make sure they do OK in the secure area before leaving them there overnight. Does this sound like a good plan or should i do something different?
     
  2. eggbert420

    eggbert420 Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

    2,151
    367
    196
    Feb 15, 2017
    Texas
    Sounds good.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2017
  3. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

    9,909
    2,879
    421
    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    It would work, but the better plan, if you want to integrate the chicks with adult chickens, would be to set up a safe pen in the run instead. That way the chicks will have maximum exposure to the adults.

    Chicks are constantly observing and learning, and they will get a better "education" if you place them in the center of the daytime activity, unless a coop is all there is to your setup.

    I call it a "panic room" where I open chick size openings (more than one for safety) in the safe pen after the chicks have observed the adult action for a few days. They will be learning which adults may present a danger and which ones won't. The panic room allows them to have a safe area in which to retreat and eat in peace.

    After a week of mingling with the adults, they should be integrated. Then you may move them into the coop to sleep. They will then know the daytime routine and will continue to use the panic room when needed. You will need to teach them to go into the coop at night, though. Chicks rarely understand that concept without help.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. Hillaire

    Hillaire Chillin' With My Peeps

    635
    85
    91
    Mar 13, 2017
    Hudson Valley NY
    does anybody still do the age old routine of putting the chicks in at night and when everyone wakes up all is ok... does that really work or am I dreaming?
     
  5. Deb T

    Deb T Out Of The Brooder

    123
    9
    48
    Dec 5, 2016
    Nevada Tx
    Using the run instead of the coop sounds better. Can you put 4 week Olds in at night on the roost with the older hens?
     
  6. eggbert420

    eggbert420 Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

    2,151
    367
    196
    Feb 15, 2017
    Texas
    Works for me
     
  7. eggbert420

    eggbert420 Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

    2,151
    367
    196
    Feb 15, 2017
    Texas

    Its like a kid going to a new school, he's going to get in a fight . In this day and age people don't want their kids to get in a fight, or their chicks to get pecked on the head. In the old days people and chickens grew up tougher. Only the winner got a trophy and only the hardest chickens survived.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2017
  8. Deb T

    Deb T Out Of The Brooder

    123
    9
    48
    Dec 5, 2016
    Nevada Tx
    So jump in and let it be but supervise
     
  9. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

    9,909
    2,879
    421
    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    If you don't mind a casualty here and there, injuries or even a death and increased stress for you and the chicks, throwing the chicks in with the adults is doable, of course. It tends to work more often if the number of adults is minimal. When I added my first chicks, back when I began my flock ten years ago, I only had two adult hens. I stuck the three six-week olds in the coop a few hours before the hens came in to roost for the night. The three little twerps were occupying the favorite spot on the perch the hens usually roosted on when they entered the coop to roost, but they were cool with it.

    Now that I have two dozen adults in the flock, the chances of mayhem increase. I understand the dynamics involved, and it's much easier to utilize safety measures to avoid tragic results. Why wouldn't I?

    It's sort of like knowing jaywalking is risky but you don't want to take the time to walk a few extra steps to use the cross walk. It's your decision, but understand the risk you're taking by making that decision.

    Also, consider the stress for the chicks. Introducing them gradually and safely, allowing them to ease into the pecking order, decreases the stress they have to endure. The panic room method of integration, followed closely by moving into the coop after the chicks get used to being in the flock, helps instill self confidence in them, and they will much more likely to be able to handle settling into the pecking order with ease.
     
  10. Deb T

    Deb T Out Of The Brooder

    123
    9
    48
    Dec 5, 2016
    Nevada Tx
    Thank you. I think I will integrate as discussed with the safty measures. I appreciate all the input. Again. Thank you all
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by