Integrating Young Chicks

Tumbleweed Farm

Songster
8 Years
Jun 17, 2011
1,105
58
196
Benton City, WA
I have 6 silkies 2.5 months old, 6 BC Marans 4 weeks old--a solid flock. I need to move 6 Silver Penciled Rocks into the coop as I need brooder space for an upcoming hatch. The babies will be locked in coop all day--olders are outside all day and only come in coop at night. Is there a chance that the olders could kill the babies (the olders no more than 2.5 months old) I expect harassment but don't want to lose a rock. I do not wish to separate them off in coop as I have no means to do that.
 

PrairieChickens

Songster
7 Years
Jun 29, 2012
1,682
358
221
Kansas
It would be best if you did have a separate enclosure within the coop or run so that the older chicks could meet the younger ones and integrate gradually. Since that's not an option, make do with supervised together-time, and see how they do. At just 2 1/2 months old, even your oldest chickens are still basically chicks themselves, which is a good thing as it means they'll be more likely to accept the new arrivals. Keep an eye out for any over-zealous pecking (a little bit out of curiosity is normal, but if they keep doing it, separate them again.) If they get along fine after an hour or so, they should be find to be integrated. If the older chickens were already full-grown, you'd have to take things slower, since full-grown chickens can easily kill baby chicks out of curiosity or misplaced aggression.

Especially since the oldest chicks in your flock are silkies--a notably docile breed--you shouldn't have anything to worry about.
 

Andrew Altice

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 7, 2014
15
0
22
rocky mount, va.
It would be best if you did have a separate enclosure within the coop or run so that the older chicks could meet the younger ones and integrate gradually.  Since that's not an option, make do with supervised together-time, and see how they do.  At just 2 1/2 months old, even your oldest chickens are still basically chicks themselves, which is a good thing as it means they'll be more likely to accept the new arrivals.  Keep an eye out for any over-zealous pecking (a little bit out of curiosity is normal, but if they keep doing it, separate them again.)  If they get along fine after an hour or so, they should be find to be integrated.  If the older chickens were already full-grown, you'd have to take things slower, since full-grown chickens can easily kill baby chicks out of curiosity or misplaced aggression.

Especially since the oldest chicks in your flock are silkies--a notably docile breed--you shouldn't have anything to worry about.  
 

gander007

Crowing
6 Years
Oct 9, 2013
15,522
1,365
446
South Western Death Valley, Ca.
That is a huge size difference I think I would keep the smaller
ones in a small safe cage or area for several more weeks ...
wink.png
 

Tumbleweed Farm

Songster
8 Years
Jun 17, 2011
1,105
58
196
Benton City, WA
That is a huge size difference I think I would keep the smaller
ones in a small safe cage or area for several more weeks ...
wink.png
Well, I did it--all in coop last night--the olders were out in run, youngsters in coop--opened pop door at dusk--olders were kinda scared to go in because of the new babies--they eventually did, went to their usual corner and that was that. This morning everyone (olders) were milling around, babies fine. I do have hiding places for babies and a box on its side with a couple of inches of dirt inside. My silkies are extremely docile and the Marans just turned 4 weeks old--my experience has been one month is the cutoff date but the silkies I thought would be an exception. Olders went out again this am and I shut pop door. I'll keep a very close eye on things.
 

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