Integrating my 5 week olds Help

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by jdr250, Apr 18, 2009.

  1. jdr250

    jdr250 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 24, 2008
    I have three 5-week old chicks (a jersey giant, and 2 polish) A couple of days ago, I moved them out to the coop into a kinda makeshift brooder. I chicken wired in two of the bottom nest boxes and opened the wall in between and put their food, water, light in it. I left them closed in there for 2 days so the big girls (9 of them) could get used to them. Well today I opened a small part of the chicken wire so that the small chicks could get in and out but the big girls couldn't get in. So after I opened it I stood outside the screen door watching just incase. After about 2 minutes the chicks ventured out. 2 of the big girls came back into the coop, glanced over and went back out. Then all the sudden one who was up on a roost flew down and grabbed the polish by the head. I ran in telling her to stop and she let go. The giant ran back in but the polish just froze so I moved the big girl and then put the polish by the opening and she went back in. Well I closed the opening and came up here to beg for help. I can't stay down at the coop all day to make sure they don't attack the babies but I want to let them out. Should I just give it a go or what?
    Any help, suggestions, advice would be welcome.

    Jen
    P.S. sorry this was so long.
     
  2. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

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    I don't ever try putting my grow out chicks with the adults til they are around the same size at 16 or 17 weeks or point of lay. They need to be able to defend themselves and eating the same feeds. The adult chickens can starve out the younger ones even if there are not enough feeders and waterers.
     
  3. jdr250

    jdr250 Out Of The Brooder

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    They have to be in the coop as I only have one coop and keeping them in the house another 11-12 weeks isn't an option. They could probably stay in the coop brooder another 2 weeks tops then it will be too small. Food isn't going to be an issue as they have their own feeders and waterer in the brooder that they will be able to get to but the big girls can't.
     
  4. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

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    Maybe someone else has had success putting younger and older together. I just never have without losses.

    Try keeping them separated for the next two weeks til they out grow the small area but can can see each other and try again is all I know.
     
  5. Chicken Girl

    Chicken Girl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am wondering the same. I have a 4 babys and there mom. The mom is a bantam and all the others are white leghorns. I let mom and babys out when all other chickens are out of the coop. They are in a brooder box my dad made for them. They are 3 weeks old. And the wether is geting warmer! So when should it be ok to let them out with all the other hens? And i hope all gose well with you!


    Chicken Girl
     
  6. jdr250

    jdr250 Out Of The Brooder

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    I think I've read on here, that the mom will protect her chicks from the other chickens. I kept wishing that I would get a broody hen before my order came in, unfortunately no such luck I think most of the broodiness has been bred out of my chickens.[​IMG]
     
  7. cicene mete

    cicene mete Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have always heard that you should wait until they are at least eight weeks old. Then, integrate them slowly. Allow them to see each other through wire for about a week. Next, let them be out in the open together for an hour or so (where there is plenty of room to run away). Monitor their interaction, and carry a stick in case you need to intervene if the "pecking order" gets too rough. It is important to get involved to protect against injury, but do not intervene too much because the pecking order must play out.

    Increase the time that the chickens are allowed to be together (again, outside). Once they are comfortable together outdoors, begin integrating them indoors or in a confined space. Do not be surprised if the pecking accelerates during this stage. Make sure that the younger ones have multiple waterers and feeders to choose from, as they will get chased away from the primary feeders for a while. With time, patience, and some luck, all should be well.

    On a side note, we had a sick chicken that we separated from her five sisters for a week. She is much smaller than the others, and it took a long time to reintegrate her after even this short period of time apart. In fact, she had to sleep by herself for about four months and only recently was allowed back on the top rung of the roost.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2009
  8. chickiebaby

    chickiebaby Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 2, 2008
    western mass
    You really need to wait until they are pretty near full size. I'd say AT LEAST 12 weeks. Simply put, hens WILL, more often than not, kill chicks, and that can happen even with a broody involved.

    You will need another space for a while. Period. If your coop is small - and don't worry, many of us dont have giant barns or big farm spreads - you could try to get a rabbit hutch or something for them to live in until then. A doghouse will do wonderfully too and those are easy to find and can be modified in an hour or two to be excellent for a few chickens. (Lop off the side that doent have the doggie door, re-hinge it back on and put a op door over the dogie entrance, et voila! ) Search "doghouse " on here and you'll find lots of us have done thins like that.

    I have a bunch of four week olds out in a bunny hutch right now. So infernally cute!

    Sources for free lil outuildings? Try Freecycle and Craigslist.

    best.
     
  9. jdr250

    jdr250 Out Of The Brooder

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    Maybe I will try keeping them in the brooder as long as they will fit and hope that it is long enough for me to get the meat chicken pullets butchered, then move them into the mock coop with the rest of the meat chickens there will be room then. Do you think they would do alright with the meat chickens at about 7-8 weeks (all the same age just meat chickens much much larger)
     
  10. Chicken Girl

    Chicken Girl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I ceep the chickens in the coop and the brooder box has chicken wire around it. They have been able to see them from day 1! They just have not been abel to get to them. And mom is going crazzy in the box. But i let them all out in the coop when the others are out side. If i bring all the chicks up to the front yard and mom can i let them out? Thanks a bunch!


    Chicken Girl
     

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