Introducing 8 week chicks to 14 week chicks HELP PLEASE

Birdmom2020

Songster
Mar 9, 2020
365
416
146
Yadkin river area NC
I need to get my birds all together in the same coop. I've tried a few times to introduce my little ones to my bigger ones but the bigger ones want no part in it. For now I have them in separate pens with my bigger ones in a coop at night and the babies still coming inside bc I don't wanna have 2 coops. I'm going away for 4th of July and would like to have them all together so that when my friend comes to care for them it's not too much of a pain in the butt.

Any ideas on how I can get them to mingle together and actually get along? I thought waiting for them to get older while in plain view of each other would help but it doesn't make any difference.

I will add that the pen for the babies is right beside the run/pen for the older ones so they see each other all day long. The only time they don't see each other is at night when the babies are brought in the house.
 

Mrs. K

Free Ranging
11 Years
Nov 12, 2009
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The best thing is a lot of hide outs and clutter and one way gates. Where the littles can venture forth into big girl territory, and retreat when needed where the bigs can't follow them.
Lift up the fence dividing them just tall enough for the littles to go through.
 

BigBlueHen53

We will get through this... together!
Mar 5, 2019
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SE Missouri, USA
How big is the coop? You need about 4 sq feet per bird. How many of each age do you have? How big is the run in square feet? You need about 10 sq ft per bird. How many feeders and waterers will you have when they are all together? Feeders and waterers should be out of sight of each other. Will there be places for the little ones to hide from the big ones? Not dead-end traps but things like tunnels or L-shaped obstacles they can run around, or A-frames they can run through? In the coop you will need about one foot of roost per bird to avoid pecking, and you will probably need to teach the younger birds to use the roosts by placing them on the roosts at dark for three or four nights. How long have the birds been side by side? I like them to get acquainted that way for about two weeks. Sprinkle a little scratch along the fence line so they get close to each other. And yes, putting the youngsters in with the older flock at night is a good idea so they wake up together. Good luck!
 

Birdmom2020

Songster
Mar 9, 2020
365
416
146
Yadkin river area NC
My coop isn't that big right now bc were going to build on if we can ever get the littles incorporated. They've been side by side for about a month but I haven't tried putting scratch or anything along the fences so they're close. The little ones' pen is about 18 in from the bigs. My run is 30ft by 60ft and I have a tree incorporated for shade. I have 2 shoebox totes for water plus a kiddie pool (2 Pekin ducks same age as older birds) that is cleaned and refilled 3 times a day plus a gallon waterer. Will also have the smaller waterer from tractor supply that will move with the littles. I have (most of the time) 4 feeding stations and will be adding another when babies move.
Right now my coop is 6ftx8ft. I have 2 roosts about 1 ft off the ground on each side and another that is across the 2 at the same height. Altogether there will be 7 chickens and 2 ducks. I plan to almost double the size of the coop once the babies start going into it.

Will I need to partition the coop for the babies if I do the nighttime thing? Like make a separate area and separate a section in the run/pen and new flap door for them to go in and out? Or should I just make sure there are places to hide? We thought about the partition thing but I want them to all be able to be together without separate parts.
 

Birdmom2020

Songster
Mar 9, 2020
365
416
146
Yadkin river area NC
My coop isn't that big right now bc were going to build on if we can ever get the littles incorporated. They've been side by side for about a month but I haven't tried putting scratch or anything along the fences so they're close. The little ones' pen is about 18 in from the bigs. My run is 30ft by 60ft and I have a tree incorporated for shade. I have 2 shoebox totes for water plus a kiddie pool (2 Pekin ducks same age as older birds) that is cleaned and refilled 3 times a day plus a gallon waterer. Will also have the smaller waterer from tractor supply that will move with the littles. I have (most of the time) 4 feeding stations and will be adding another when babies move.
Right now my coop is 6ftx8ft. I have 2 roosts about 1 ft off the ground on each side and another that is across the 2 at the same height. Altogether there will be 7 chickens and 2 ducks. I plan to almost double the size of the coop once the babies start going into it.

Will I need to partition the coop for the babies if I do the nighttime thing? Like make a separate area and separate a section in the run/pen and new flap door for them to go in and out? Or should I just make sure there are places to hide? We thought about the partition thing but I want them to all be able to be together without separate parts.
Also my ducks aren't interested in them at all in any way. The chickens (3 RIR hens and 1 buff roo) are the ones who are mean and rush right over and peck the crap out of them every single time I've tried to introduce them. The babies are 2 barred rocks (pretty sure pullets) and a silkie(possibly cockerel) but I've only introduced 1 at a time out of fear the big ones will get too crazy for me to gather them all up before they get hurt.
 

BigBlueHen53

We will get through this... together!
Mar 5, 2019
14,166
52,340
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SE Missouri, USA
Introduce them all together. One at a time is a target for everybody. And no, you shouldn't partition your coop. Try putting them all in at night so they wake up together and providing hidey holes for them to escape to and then let them be. There may be some pecking and squawking but try not to interfere unless blood flows, because if you take the babies out, they have to start all over from square one another day. Much better to integrate in groups, not individually. You can do this!
 

Birdmom2020

Songster
Mar 9, 2020
365
416
146
Yadkin river area NC
Introduce them all together. One at a time is a target for everybody. And no, you shouldn't partition your coop. Try putting them all in at night so they wake up together and providing hidey holes for them to escape to and then let them be. There may be some pecking and squawking but try not to interfere unless blood flows, because if you take the babies out, they have to start all over from square one another day. Much better to integrate in groups, not individually. You can do this!
Okay. It's super late now and all are sleeping. Tomorrow I will set up some escape routes and hiding spots for the littles and I'll put them all in together at bedtime. So on Wednesday I'll keep updates posted and let everyone know how things go. You don't think my older roo will be too harsh on the little silkie roo(possibly not quite sure yet) do you?
 

BigBlueHen53

We will get through this... together!
Mar 5, 2019
14,166
52,340
1,097
SE Missouri, USA
Okay. It's super late now and all are sleeping. Tomorrow I will set up some escape routes and hiding spots for the littles and I'll put them all in together at bedtime. So on Wednesday I'll keep updates posted and let everyone know how things go. You don't think my older roo will be too harsh on the little silkie roo(possibly not quite sure yet) do you?

You'll just have to watch to see how it goes. Since they are so young it is possible he will show no interest in them at all until they reach breeding age. Frankly it is the dominant hens you probably have to watch out for, but once the littles know their place in the pecking order, that should be the end of it. The dominant hens just want to be sure the littles know who's the boss. It's usually mostly noise and intimidation and looks worse than it really is.

Typo: noise, not nouse
 

Birdmom2020

Songster
Mar 9, 2020
365
416
146
Yadkin river area NC
You'll just have to watch to see how it goes. Since they are so young it is possible he will show no interest in them at all until they reach breeding age. Frankly it is the dominant hens you probably have to watch out for, but once the littles know their place in the pecking order, that should be the end of it. The dominant hens just want to be sure the littles know who's the boss. It's usually mostly nouse and intimidation and looks worse than it really is.
Alright will do! Thanks so much for the info! Like I said before I will post a couple updates throughout the day Wednesday and a couple days after to let you know how they do. I really appreciate you!
 

MANNA-PRO

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