Introducing chicks to adults

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by cliffoco, Dec 21, 2015.

  1. cliffoco

    cliffoco Out Of The Brooder

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    I have 3 hens and 1 RIR rooster, all full grown. I have introduced 15 chicks that are 6 weeks old.

    The baby chicks understand there place in the pecking order and they RUN from the big girls (the rooster could not care less about the babies).

    The issue I have is the the babies run and squish each other in a corner and have crushed one of them :( So now I am down to 14.

    They have been together for 3 full days and still just simply run from the adults . Is this simply a waiting game for that "1 week settle" period or what?
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    Did you just put them all in the same pen, it's best to house them with a fence between them for a week, than allow mingling but returning the kids to a safe place for another month or so especially at night before allowing free mingling, the chicks need a safe place to imprint on and it takes time for them to think of the new place as home or else they don't know where to escape to.
     
  3. cliffoco

    cliffoco Out Of The Brooder

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    I did put them all in the same pen, they have a "get away" area that seems to be working. The reason one got crushed Is I made a makeshift seperator and one of the hens got in it and since they didnt have there "get away" spot accessible they all piled on top of eachother.

    Currently there back to the first set up which was the 'get away" spot. The issue with putting a seperator up is the chickens just jump over it... The nesting boxes are a 5 foot jump and they make it no problem.
     
  4. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Last time I built a wall out of chicken wire in my coop that left the chicks completely separate for a few weeks till they got a little older and they were all used to each other. I have jumped the gun before if combining them and it wasn't so good at that younger age, you mention the piling, that's the experience I had they'd pile in the corner and the big birds were free to attack, I lost 2 that way, one I saved but it's wing had been eaten to the bone in spots. There seems to be an age in there somewhere where they get the older chicken attitude and will either spar with the big hens or at least have the sense to run away or fly up on a roost rather then lay in the corner and get beat to death, so I let them get a little older before letting them in the same coop together without a divider
     
  5. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    I think the key is to get the young ones used to the coop and run without fear of attack from older birds, once the young ones are comfortable they know where to run to get away, and I do agree for their age, I start when they are 6-8 weeks old and don't leave them totally free for another month or two, they have some sense by then and some size to take the pecking, so a good separation area is needed, be it temporary or permanent.
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
     
  7. csaylorchickens

    csaylorchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    I have two coops a mini one and a large one. I have two in the mini coop and 4 in large coop. I let the large birds free range and keep the pullets in the mini coop. The large birds check out the small ones. I also let the pullets free range and they check out the large birds. Next step I let them free range together. Supervised. So far so good. Next step is allowing them.to.roost at night ND then making a clear divider and then eventually join completely chickens are so territory oriented. As long as they know new additions aren't threatening and pecking order will sort it's self out.
     
  8. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    If chicks have what I like to call a "panic room", where only they can fit the entrances (and there should be more than one), it not only provides optimal safety, but it helps develop self confidence in the chicks so they're better adjusted going forward.

    Food and water is inside this panic room so the chicks don't have to be stressed and fearful trying to compete for essentials. It's a place for them to relax and be themselves without having to be on guard all the time.

    Almost eight years ago, when I was introducing my first three baby chicks to my two adult hens, I quickly came to the conclusion I needed some sort of safe pen for the babies if only to keep the adult hens from taking over the chicks' food. I tacked up a small enclosure in one corner of the run, and made a small opening into it that the hens couldn't fit through. By that time one hen had developed a real fondness for the chick food and I found her stuck in the opening leisurely finishing off the chick starter. So I tore the pen down and built a larger enclosure so I could get the food farther away from the openings.

    Later on, I built a new run and incorporated a chick pen or panic room into it as a permanent feature. Then I created small chick portals in every partition in the run where a chick might get trapped against a wall or stuck in a corner with no escape. This provides safety for baby chicks so they can have free access to the entire run and still have a safe place that they can use until they're around three months old. Currently, I'm using the panic room for a two-year old abandoned hen I just adopted, so it's anything but wasted space.

    Everyone who utilizes a panic room for their chicks have had peace of mind and no casualties. I highly recommend it.[​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    2 people like this.
  9. csaylorchickens

    csaylorchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Awesome set up
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    This is the most excellent example(and access doors) of chick respite I've ever seen!!
    Am saving a link to this post to paste and share when needed.
     

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