Introducing chicks to hens (do I leave them overnight ?)


9 Years
Apr 22, 2014
New York
I have 7 -8 week old chicks breees are large fowl, polish, silkie and a runt who looks 3 weeks old. I put a little more than half the chicks with the 1 year old hens in an escape pen. So far so good, a peck here and there and chatter. Should I let them be to stay the night ? Or separate into there chick pen and Put them back in tomorrow ? I have 3 chicks still separated from there chick group. One is a polish who can’t see much (will clip her feathers) and the silkie and stunted specked Sussex. Not sure if I should keep them separated or introduce ? The speckle Sussex is really tiny!! She looks 3 weeks and the silkie is larger than her. In the past I had two coops, so I was able to grow out. At this moment I don’t have that advantage.
IMO you are going to have to play it by ear and watch them It could go either way.
No one knows your flock dynamics, breeds of your adult birds or the dimensions of your spaces.
Normally those ages don't mix well with an established flock largely depending on breeds, space and diversions.
I only have 4 adult hens (Orpington, barred rock , jersey giant and an Easter egger). I took them out for the night and will bring them into the run in the morning again. The adults barred rock and Easter egger pecked and than stopped. One of the chicks stood up after getting pecked and pecked right back! And stood tall too. After that, the adults seemed like they wanted to get out of their run, while the chicks just huddle in the corner outside the escape run (safety area).

My other hurdle is the 3 I did not put in today. I have the silkie, a polish who I need to trim and a runt. I don’t necessarily want to separate 3 from the sibling , but the speckle Sussex is very tiny.


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Actually - a lot of times little chicks are not intimidating to older chicks. Once they have figured out the escape pen or one way gate when they have had enough, I don't worry about them. To me, that is the best way to integrate. Let the chicks venture forth, and when the oldies have had enough, retreat to safety.

As long as the chicks can get to the safety zone without getting trapped away from it, it usually works very well. The more chicks the better in my opinion.

Mrs K
I will try tomorrow with the 7 larger ones and if all seems well, intergrate the ones I worried more about. I think my larger barred rock was very surprised to have one of the chicks peck right back and look her into the eye standing tall. I might have another alpha in the making.
Have done the see but no touch method? If not, I would for two weeks for both groups to get used to one another between the wire or some sort of fence allowing them to see each other. After the two weeks is up, allow them to free range (if possible) and then determinate any issues between the two groups, if so you may have to do it for longer.
Aart- the space is very large , inside and out, I would just have to teach them to go inside the coop part. They were to scared yesterday. The next two days we are having another heat wave. I’ll wait until that’s passed to consider leaving them at night. I’m just a bit more worried about the speckle Sussex runt. She lays down a lot and is incredibly small (lowest in the pecking order).

Mrs. K- I have two coops, but my rooster is at another location (5 mins away). At some point everyone will be able to join together. We are fixing up our home to move into it.

interestingchickens- I have been letting the chicks out to have grass and see the out doors for 2 weeks. I let them out at a distance (viewable), but closer to me and the hens out at the same time. The hens can hear them, but during that time, the hens would go the opposite direction or stay inside the run.

//: I think the more chicks I had taken over did overwhelm the hens and stopped the aggression. I will try again later, it’s suppose to be 88degrees today and I don’t want any of them to overly stress with the heat.

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