introducing 5 wk old chicks to 2 yr old hens

chickfamilyonsleepyhollow

Songster
9 Years
May 11, 2010
151
5
134
Plymouth, Massachusetts
Hi there... need some advice on when to let four 5 week old Rhode Island Reds sleep in the coop with four 2 yr. old red sexlinks (Rhode Island Red/Delaware) ... I've been slowly introducing them in the run off and on and for the past 2 weeks (in a separate fenced in area in the run) ... over the past couple of days we've been watching them as they run around the run together and they seem to be getting along ok ... I don't have the space for a dog crate in the coop ... can I put them together at night now? I don't have a rooster and the older girls are fairly docile... thanks!!!!
 

coxm3

In the Brooder
7 Years
May 16, 2012
13
0
22
I can't wait to see the replies on this! I am working on introducing 24 3 week old chicks to my Barred Rock rooster and 5 hens.
 

coxm3

In the Brooder
7 Years
May 16, 2012
13
0
22
I literally RIGGED a portion of my coop off for the babies. They slept there last night and I let them out of chicken jail when my big guys went out. I am very interested to see how your introduction goes. My big guy and girls just watched them through the jail last night and then went and roosted. Didn't seem really interested in them at all.
 

aoxa

Crowing
8 Years
Aug 8, 2011
19,042
1,176
421
Shediac Cape NB, Canada
My Coop
Roosting is about the only time pecking occurs within my flock, so I made a separate roost for the younger ones (5 weeks they started roosting) - but they were all integrated from a broody hen...

Youngest I've ever added into a flock was 8 weeks without the aid of a broody. I do know someone personally that integrated 26 5 week old chicks with year old RSL hens with no problem. As long as they had places to hide - they were fine.
 

chickfamilyonsleepyhollow

Songster
9 Years
May 11, 2010
151
5
134
Plymouth, Massachusetts
Thanks for the info ... I haven't put them in the coop yet ... they're still fenced in a separate area of the run and we bring them in at night ... sadly one of our chicks didn't make it so we are down to three
and I suspect one is a rooster so we won't be able to keep it since we have surrounding neighbors who won't appreciate cock-a-doodling ... eight weeks sounds like a good time to put them in the coop together as I do have two roosts ... the big girls always sleep on the upper roost so hopefully they won't bother them... I'll let you know how I make out
 

coxm3

In the Brooder
7 Years
May 16, 2012
13
0
22
Well, my introduction happened totally by accident 4 days ago. When I went down to let the babies out of their jail.................they were already out in the coop with the big girls (4) and the big guy. I went ahead and watched them forever and let them out into the run together. My big chickens are TERRIFIED of the little ones. I think its a numbers thing with mine since I have 24 babies. I have left the big chickens shut up with the little ones since then in hopes they would show the little ones how to get back in the coop, protect them from the snake that I still haven't found, etc. No problems so far! My big chickens are still terrified of the little ones, but becoming more accustomed to them. Since I have left them together, my little ones go into the coop by themselves for the night. YAY! No more herding chickens! I left their chicken jail open enough that if they need to hide from the bigger ones, they still can. I think I was way more stressed than necessary. THe only issue I have right now is that the big chickens eat the chick starter and the little chicken eat some of the layer pellets that my kids throw out for the big guys. THe little guys still have exclusive access to their food in the coop, but in the run they have access to both.
 

chickfamilyonsleepyhollow

Songster
9 Years
May 11, 2010
151
5
134
Plymouth, Massachusetts
I'm having the same issue with chicks eating layer feed and hens eating grower feed...can I give them all one kind of feed??? they're doing OK with each other although the big girls do some chasing once in a while .... I'm getting tired of putting the chicks in a separate area to eat :/
 

boxhill

Hatching
7 Years
Jun 21, 2012
2
0
7
Last time I integrated a new flock into an existing one I just let them all eat the same thing. But Thursday I got 9 9-wk old pullets from a local hatchery, and the guy said that there was too much calcium in Eggmaker Crumbles for the young ones, and it could cause kidney problems. So I haven't decided what to do. Meanwhile, the young girls are on their second day in the coop, where I have given them the inner enclosed nest box/roosting area, letting the 4 older girls hang out in the outer area at night. (They are 7 years old and don't lay much, but eventually are going to need access to the nesting boxes!) Meanwhile, the 9-wk girls are very flighty and afraid of me. I'm not used to it, since my earlier girls all arrived as day-old chicks. I've been going out to visit them, and if I just stand or crouch outside the pen, they eventually come out of the corner and start eating, wandering about, etc. It remains to be seen how long they will remain separate.
 

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