introducing 5 week old with 9 and 10 week olds

Little Coop on Salt Creek

Songster
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Feb 20, 2016
438
346
207
Southwest Colorado
Hi all!

We are so enjoying our life with chicks. It is busier than we thought, but so enjoyable!

A question for all you veteran chick raisers out there... we have 6 chicks (3 black australorps and 3 white silkies who are a day away from 5 weeks old; we also have 6 chicks (3 buff orpingtons and 3 silver laced wyandotte who are a day from being 10 weeks plus the remainder of our flock (2 speckled sussex, 2 wellsummers, 4 easter eggers and 3 salmon faverolles) who are a day away from being 9 weeks old... at what age/size should we start integrating the 5 weekers and the older groups together? Presently they all share the same coup but we have a built in brooder where the younger 6 sleep and spend a few hours a day. The bulk of the daytime hours are spent on the floor in another brooder type box with hardware cloth sides so they can be eye to eye with the older ones. The older girls spend their time roaming between the coup and fully enclosed run. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
 

debid

Free Ranging
10 Years
Jan 20, 2011
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middle TN
The sooner the better, IMO. They probably won't have too much difficulty at this stage but do it when you can stick around and watch for a while.
 

SueT

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
May 27, 2015
10,471
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SW MO
It sounds like you're well on your way to successful integration with your set up allowing them to see each other. When you let them mingle, be sure to have more than one feeder, waterer...maybe three for three groups.
Watch them and if no blood is drawn, let them work it out. You should be able to leave them together at night but check them often during this process ..... Good luck!
 

Little Coop on Salt Creek

Songster
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Feb 20, 2016
438
346
207
Southwest Colorado
They have been at the daytime brooder setup for a week and a day :) progressively staying in it longer and longer... they are definitely wanting out to hang on the floor though... they enjoy being able to run and fly :wee
I think I'm a worried chickie mama!
 

Little Coop on Salt Creek

Songster
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Feb 20, 2016
438
346
207
Southwest Colorado
You'll be able to tell if they're just chasing around a little or if you have any cause for concern.

Is it normal for the olders to go over and peck the littles? .. not repeatedly, but they do make a point to go over and peck at their backs. The australorps try to make flight out of the brooder and have been on the floor with an older or 2 at time, not for more than a few minutes at a time though.
 

debid

Free Ranging
10 Years
Jan 20, 2011
7,560
6,925
516
middle TN
Yes, it's called a pecking order for that very reason. They peck and the response is either submission or challenge. As long as they aren't being injured or chased down and beaten, it's normal. The little ones may squawk and run away or fly up to escape and that's OK. You just don't want to see them ganging up and cornering.
 

Little Coop on Salt Creek

Songster
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Feb 20, 2016
438
346
207
Southwest Colorado
thank you @debid! I appreciate the replies. Sometimes the figuring it all out makes my head swim and then the obvious things slip through the cracks! I am used to the olders do that with the pecking order, I guess I didn't connect the dots with the babies :confused:.
 

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