Integrating younger chickens

mindy_marvelmom

In the Brooder
Jan 16, 2021
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I have six chickens that are about ~16 weeks old and 6 (including two likely roosters) that are ~7 weeks old. The 7weekers are still in a brooder in my garage, which is only kept at about 50 degrees with a heat lamp (they had a heating plate until this morning). They are getting big for the brooder and I am wondering if it would be okay for them to go in a section of my large run with my other chickens during the day. They would be separated by fencing and I would bring the younger ones back in the garage brooder at night for a while. I was planning to do this sort of thing eventually for introductions, but would there be anything wrong with starting now and doing this for a month or so? My chicken run is the only nice, windblocked/covered area in the backyard. After that month, would I be okay integrating the two groups even though the youngest are still smaller in size?

Thanks so much for help with this.

(Picture is my young ones who love hopping up on the side of the brooder every time I open it up.)

387AEF0D-5E80-44E6-99F7-0A9A0FC428A9.jpeg
 

DobieLover

Easily distracted by chickens
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Jul 23, 2018
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Can you post pictures of your coop and run? Lots of things to perch on, hide behind and dig around in the run will help a lot.
You've definitely got two cockerels in there.
If you've got good space, I'd move them out and start the 'look don't touch' integration now. After about 10-14 days, let the littles out of their enclosure to explore the rest of the run for about an hour then let the bigs out. And monitor.
I also like to put flat stones all over the place spread as far apart as possible to use as chicken lunch plates and put little piles of their feed on them.
 

RUNuts

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May 19, 2017
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I will stick 4 week olds in a chicken tractor where the other hens can come and inspect them. Helps them to start talking to the invaders. After a week, I'll open the tractor and the hens will go in to eat their food because that side of the bag tastes so much better.

After a bit, shove the youngsters in the coop at night (they usually like to keep roosting in the tractor) and you are integrated.
 

mindy_marvelmom

In the Brooder
Jan 16, 2021
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Thank you! Four weeks seems so little to me, but I am very new to the chicken raising game. Thanks for sharing your approach. 😊
 

NatJ

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Mar 20, 2017
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They would be separated by fencing and I would bring the younger ones back in the garage brooder at night for a while. I was planning to do this sort of thing eventually for introductions, but would there be anything wrong with starting now and doing this for a month or so?

Starting it now should be fine.

For future, it's fine to start a look-no-touch situation just as soon as the chicks have enough feathers for whatever weather you have at the time. (Summer vs. winter makes a big difference.)

The 7weekers are still in a brooder in my garage, which is only kept at about 50 degrees with a heat lamp (they had a heating plate until this morning).

Why did you take out the heating plate?
How warm is the garage with no heat lamp?
I'm thinking they might not need the heat lamp at all, given their age and the amount of feathers they have.
 
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mindy_marvelmom

In the Brooder
Jan 16, 2021
11
25
49
Starting it now should be fine.

For future, it's fine to start a look-no-touch situation just as soon as the chicks have enough feathers for whatever weather you have at the time. (Summer vs. winter makes a big difference.)



Why did you take out the heating plate?
How warm is the garge with no heat lamp?
I'm thinking they might not need the heat lamp at all, given their age and the amount of feathers they have.

They didn’t seem to be going under it anymore, just perching on top (and pooping on the paper towel I out there daily). I thought they’d prefer another roost instead. The garage is not insulated, so it’s probably about 35-40 degrees a lot of the time.
 

NatJ

Crowing
Mar 20, 2017
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They didn’t seem to be going under it anymore, just perching on top (and pooping on the paper towel I out there daily). I thought they’d prefer another roost instead. The garage is not insulated, so it’s probably about 35-40 degrees a lot of the time.

Good reason to remove the heat plate.

But at that temperature, for chicks of that age, considering how they were acting--I would take the heat lamp away again.
 

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