Integrating chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by SWolf08, May 2, 2017.

  1. SWolf08

    SWolf08 New Egg

    4
    0
    4
    Apr 26, 2017
    Hi! So we have 7 adult chickens and 2 adult mallard ducks. We have six 9 week old chicks, 3 8 week old ducklings and 1 6 week old duckling. The young ones are all together and have their own mini coop right now. I have been moving them from their small coop area into our dog run during the day so they have lots of space and the older chickens can see them and kind of get used to them. Our older chickens are free range. My question is at what point could I start letting the younger ones out to free range with the older ones?
     
  2. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

    9,916
    2,887
    421
    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    They're ready now. Just open their run or coop and let them start getting up the courage to venture out on their own.

    Be prepared for this to be a somewhat slow process. Youngsters know they're prey and vulnerable. They will step out and stay close to safety until they learn the lay of the land, so to speak.

    Expect them to stay pretty close to the run for a few days before venturing farther from it. They will go farther each day, and you'll sense how proud of themselves they are for being so brave. It's cute to watch.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2017
  3. SWolf08

    SWolf08 New Egg

    4
    0
    4
    Apr 26, 2017
    So the older chickens won't go after them when free ranging?
     
  4. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

    9,916
    2,887
    421
    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Chickens are much less likely to feel like bullying chicks while free ranging. Your chicks will want to hang out very close to the run at first and the adults likely won't be anywhere near.

    You would do well to make sure chicks and adults are well acquainted with one another first before you put them out together though. If it's the first time your adult flock has laid eyes on the chicks and you toss them all out together, you may risk trouble.

    A gradual introduction is better.
     
  5. SWolf08

    SWolf08 New Egg

    4
    0
    4
    Apr 26, 2017

    The big chickens have been around both the dog run and the small chicken run seeing the babies since we got them two months ago. They have gotten to where they ignore them when they are out in the dog run.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2017

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by