introducing chicks to the flock!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by mamabear105, Oct 15, 2015.

  1. mamabear105

    mamabear105 New Egg

    8
    0
    7
    Aug 21, 2015
    lake los angeles, ca
    Hi all! I am currently in the process of introducing my 5 week old chicks to my 19 week old chicks. I have two 19 week old chicks (1 pullet & 1 roo). I have the 5 week old chicks in a wire cage for protection. How long should I do this before letting the chicks out? I plan on taking the chicks back into the house every night until the introduction is complete. Today was the first day they all saww eachother. The curiousity was adorable! Any pointers would be greatly appreciated!!

    [​IMG]
    backyardchickens.com/content/type/61/id/7130468/width/350/height/700[/IMG]
     
  2. boskelli1571

    boskelli1571 Overrun With Chickens

    2,902
    398
    261
    Mar 7, 2011
    Finger Lakes, NY
    Hello & welcome! Generally, I don't let them 'get together' until the smaller birds are about 2/3 the size of the bigger chicks - or better. I usually don't introduce until 10-12 weeks old.
    They will likely need at least 7-10 of look/no touch. When you do let them out, make sure they have plenty of 'hidey holes' so they can escape from the bigger guys.
    What are your temps there in Ca? At 5 weeks your babies aren't fully feathered yet, so the nights might be a bit chilly for them yet.
     
  3. mamabear105

    mamabear105 New Egg

    8
    0
    7
    Aug 21, 2015
    lake los angeles, ca
    Thank you so much! After I put them out there I was doubting myself. They are so much smaller than the other chicks. Today was the 5 week olds first day outside. I don't plan on them staying out overght until they are 6 weeks. They'll also have a heat lamp in their coop at night. Our days lately have been going from 85 degrees to 75 degrees. Our night usually go down to 55 at this time of year. They are fully feathered. I'll definitely hold off on introducing them until they are a few months older. Thanks again! ;):D
     
  4. boskelli1571

    boskelli1571 Overrun With Chickens

    2,902
    398
    261
    Mar 7, 2011
    Finger Lakes, NY
    You're welcome! Enjoy your babies....[​IMG]
     
  5. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

    17,207
    5,118
    476
    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    If you can get some sort of wire, some chicken wire would work good about four foot high, and attach it to the sides of the run you could make a bit of a bigger area for them to hang out in the corner during the day, digging and scratching around, then after about 2 weeks of that you could start letting them mingle during the day than eventually they will stay outside.
     
  6. mamabear105

    mamabear105 New Egg

    8
    0
    7
    Aug 21, 2015
    lake los angeles, ca
    Thank you! Unfortunately I can't do that because I have a naughty dog ;) but I do agree that wire cage is way too small for the 14 chicks. I only had them in there for about an hour. I currently have them in the house. They're brooder is 4' x 5' & 3' high. We have to finish the larger chicken run we're in the middle of building. Once its finished, the older 2 chickens can go in there. Technically they're in a large chick run/coop. They're 19 weeks old and ready for something bigger :) thank you for your advice. I plan on putting them all together when they're older.
     
  7. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

    17,207
    5,118
    476
    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    I meant to make the wire pen inside your existing run, actually in that corner in the picture. I know all about naughty dogs.
     
  8. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

    10,220
    3,276
    461
    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Have any of you folks heard of the "panic room" method of integration? It's really very simple. You have a secure pen adjacent to the main pen where the larger chickens are, and you make smaller, around 5 x 7 inches, holes so the chicks can come and go and the larger chickens can't get through into the secure pen.

    You can begin letting the chicks mingle after a "getting -to-know-you" period of around a week. It's best to make sure you have a good amount of space for all the chickens, around 10 square feet per bird. If you have the space, I like to break the run up into "rooms", making for a more interesting space. Taking the run vertical is also an advantage and helps decrease boredom. Perches, old furniture, even a chicken swing, all help give the chicks places to evade any bullies.

    I've used this method successfully for nine batches of chicks over the years, allowing the chicks to begin mingling with the adults at age three weeks, and I've never had a single mishap. The chicks learn within minutes to run into their panic room for safety.

    Also, supply the chicks with their food and water inside this secure area, and they won't have to compete with the bigger chickens for these necessities.

    When you're ready, I'll tell you how to handle merging them with the adults in the coop and how I teach my chicks to go into the coop at night.
     
  9. Junediamond

    Junediamond Out Of The Brooder

    85
    2
    36
    Aug 23, 2015
    I have a 2 week silkie and americana, that I am introducing to 2 9 week rhode islands, 1 9 week black sex link, and 1 8 week black australorp. They live in the coop, but are separated by a cardboard barrier. The older chicks see the little ones, but can't get to them. When should I introduce them?
     
  10. Junediamond

    Junediamond Out Of The Brooder

    85
    2
    36
    Aug 23, 2015
    Do you know when I can give sunflowers to my chicks?
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by