Introducing chicks to the rest of the flock....Help!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by patches, Jun 28, 2010.

  1. patches

    patches New Egg

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    May 9, 2009
    I have 10- 1 year old chickens...and 10 2 month old chicks. I separated their run, so they could still see each other. sometimes I let them get together...but always end up separating them so no one gets too picked on. The chicks have a wired dog cage with a tarp on it. I have left the door opened with in the secured chicken run...the chicken run that they all share has chicken wire from top to bottom so they are all safe. question is : I just realized they chicks are sleeping outside on some roosts with in the chicken run. Is that ok? I have a armish chicken coop that the older ones just walk in on their own at night. I still don't think it's a good idea to let them sleep together yet. Yet these new ones seem to like to sleep under the stars.....They no longer go into their covered dog/ chick house...what do I do? They have to sleep in that coop come winter, thats for sure. ANy ideas? Is it ok for them to sleep with in their secured run outside all night? They also have a tarp above where they roost at night. Thanks for all your help.
     
  2. donnavee

    donnavee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 7, 2009
    Central NC
    I have much the same situation as you: Seven 1yr old hens & Six 10wk old chicks. I also sectioned off a part of the big run for the little ones and they have their own little house. We have been letting them together in the run for periods of the day and let them out to free range together in the evening (under our watchful eye). I cut a small hole in the section of netting between the two runs so the little ones can espcape back to their part if they feel threatened. So far, no major problems, a little chasing and a few pecks. Each group still keeps pretty much to themselves, but as long as they aren't fighting I think it's good for them to mingle some. Like you, I'm not ready to try sleeping together yet, but my little ones do go into their little house at night to sleep. My biggest problem has been when I let the little ones out, they go straight for the layer feed. I tried to find some flockraiser type food that I could feed everyone until they are old enough to eat the layer feed, but couldn't find it locally. By accident, I found if I put a bowl of the little ones feed into the big run, they left the other food alone and the hens don't really care for the crumbles so the problem sort of solved itself.

    I doubt it hurts your little ones to sleep outside in good weather, as long as they can't get wet - but I would want mine inside at night. Have you tried just putting them on their inside roost once it gets bed time? We had to chase ours in the 1st week, then they got the idea.
     
  3. patches

    patches New Egg

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    May 9, 2009
    Quote:Thanks for your help [​IMG], I want mine to sleep at least in the covered dog crate...just so they get into the habit of sleeping in. I have a amish chicken coop so it is small ...All the big girls sleep on the first roost...I was thinking the babies could sleep on the second roost...when they get a little bigger. I am really nervous that they are going to get pecked to death. I can't really let them free range...because the big girls go straight for my squash in the garden. I wish I got them all together a year ago when I got the first 10. I am starting to think they will never get along.
     
  4. patches

    patches New Egg

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    May 9, 2009
    I also want to add that when my chicks are all done with this last bag of chick starter...I am going to let them eat the layer feed. The feed store said they had all their needed shots.
    What do you think?
     
  5. ZooMummzy

    ZooMummzy Queen of the Zoo

    Mar 31, 2008
    Philomath, Oregon
    I've done the same thing in the past when introducing younger and older. It worked really well! As far as the food, I know everyone has a different opinion, but I keep my chicks on starter till 5 months old. I have learned the hard way that they need the help of the medicated starter till then. I have been told and also read many places that their immune systems are not complete until 5 months.
     
  6. patches

    patches New Egg

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    May 9, 2009
    Really....5 months....I didn't know that...even if they have had all their shots? I don't want to go through all this and lose chicks...thank you
     
  7. patches

    patches New Egg

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    May 9, 2009
    Quote:Did your chicks also, sleep outside?
     
  8. patches

    patches New Egg

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    May 9, 2009
    About how long did it take for your hens to get along with the new chicks? Thanks for all your help [​IMG]
     
  9. ZooMummzy

    ZooMummzy Queen of the Zoo

    Mar 31, 2008
    Philomath, Oregon
    Quote:I'm not sure what shots you are talking about it...but yes. The medicated starter builds up their immunity to cocci but the 5 months I was told helps their immune system get strong enough to handle other diseases and parasites they may encounter. Younger birds are just more susceptible to things.
     
  10. ZooMummzy

    ZooMummzy Queen of the Zoo

    Mar 31, 2008
    Philomath, Oregon
    Quote:Yes, the chicks slept outside...but they were already 4-5 months old so they weren't really chicks [​IMG] I never put birds younger than that outside. Again, just me and the experiences I've had. I put one batch out at 2 months and lost quite a few to cocci. I won't ever do that again. And as far as how long...it really just depends but usually a good week. I plan on keeping a close eye on new birds for at least a week. I had one set take a month! [​IMG]
     

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