Integrating new chicks, to young flock.

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Dieselmunkey, Sep 13, 2017.

  1. Dieselmunkey

    Dieselmunkey New Egg

    7
    4
    9
    Sep 13, 2017
    Elizabethtown, PA
    Hi all, this will be my first post on here, i've gathered a lot of good information already here, now it's time to join the forum and ask a question!

    First, Located in Central PA. 9 weeks ago i got my order from McMurray Hatchery. (Very pleased with them) All strait run, 5 Buff Orpington, 5 Rhode Island Red, 5 Silver Laced Wyandottes. They are obviously 9 weeks old now. They live in the back yard, in a coup i made out of a beat down old 10'x12' shed. (re-sided, repairs, etc.)

    So they other day, i tripped and fell in Tractor Supply, and somehow during the fall, acquired (to the best i can tell) 4 Barred Rocks, 4 White Leghorns, 4 Australorps, and 4 Black Sex Links. My wife is having a hard time believing how this happened, but that's another story. So i've got them in a raised re-purposed rabbit hutch, brooding in the coup. Added them in at night, next morning only a bit of curiosity, nothing major. So my question is about the integration. Most information i'm able to find, only involves grown birds mixing with chicks. The oldest birds in the coup are the previous mentioned 15. I'm assuming the process is the same as with adult birds? Less wait time being my existing flock is still quite young? Any input i can get is greatly appreciated, I'll try to add some photos when i get a chance. Likely tomorrow. Thanks!
     
    The Angry Hen likes this.
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

    16,629
    4,271
    456
    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    You will probably have more troubles integrating your birds as teenagers can be more aggressive than adults would be.

    Take it slow, keep them housed within sight of each other and have supervised mingling.

    Provide hiding spots and escape routes for the younger ones. I would lock the younger ones up at night for their own protection until you feel okay leaving them together.
     
  3. Dieselmunkey

    Dieselmunkey New Egg

    7
    4
    9
    Sep 13, 2017
    Elizabethtown, PA
    Ok, Thank you! i did intend on making a few hiding places for them when mingling were to begin. They are in sight of eachother now how I have them in there, which i'll post a picture tomorrow of what i put together. But i'm curious here, i could allow them to mingle at this age? Only while attended? They currently have no direct access to eachother, new chicks are in the rabbit hutch, 1/2" hardware cloth on all 4 sides, cardboard with pine bedding over that, hutch floor about 2-3' off the floor of the coup.
     
  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

    16,629
    4,271
    456
    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    I would house them side by side for 2-3 weeks, and than start seeing how they do mingling. It will probably initially be chaos and last a few minutes before you say enough. By the time they are that age, 2-4 weeks, the younger ones should be pretty mobile.
     
  5. Dieselmunkey

    Dieselmunkey New Egg

    7
    4
    9
    Sep 13, 2017
    Elizabethtown, PA
    I'll certainly give that a try! Thank you! I do believe a few of these new birds were already a week old or so. Most were in the "This tank only $0.50 each" area. To which the employee tells me they usually price them at that and lower once they're not quite as "cute and easy to sell". All the new ones besides the Australorps already have some decent small wing feathers started.
     
  6. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

    16,629
    4,271
    456
    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    I always say follow your gut. Only you can see if they are ready, and what the interaction is, so try it and go from there.
     
    Dieselmunkey likes this.
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    33,706
    6,827
    576
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
  8. Dan O

    Dan O Out Of The Brooder

    11
    3
    27
    Apr 11, 2016
    I have done this before, the worst that happened in my flock was the new recruits became the underdog and stayed the underdog their entire time in the flock. They never caught up in size to the others and spent most of the time dodging the other hens. And that was with a mostly free range flock. I did not at the time have a coop big enough to separate them which probably contributed to the problem. Since then, most introductions have been in the coop but separated. And pretty much regardless of age I have had very few problems once they are about 3-4 weeks old. Again that is mostly free range so the older hens have better things to do.
     
  9. Dieselmunkey

    Dieselmunkey New Egg

    7
    4
    9
    Sep 13, 2017
    Elizabethtown, PA
    Thanks! My current coop is 10x12, with a 10x12 run that i'm building as i get the time, i've decided today, after wanting to cut the legs off the rabbit hutch, to instead put a ramp going down to the ground. I'll wire around the legs, and leave a small opening for the chicks to enter and exit, and kinda see how that goes. I'm going to try to upload some photos from the other day, again, I'm open to any and all suggestions!
     
  10. Dieselmunkey

    Dieselmunkey New Egg

    7
    4
    9
    Sep 13, 2017
    Elizabethtown, PA
    A few photos, as long as it works the way I've done it from my phone! coop is a steady-going project, i'll have to find a photo of it before i started doing anything with it. jamb packed with wheels, tires, junk, and in aweful shape. really need to finish the paneling soon, as it looks horrible right now.
     

    Attached Files:

    aart likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by