Introducing chicks

Bellagrl

Chirping
Oct 8, 2019
78
119
71
Orange county New You
I have 3 chicken chicks that I'm trying to introduce to my flock. They are about 9-10 weeks old. I've had them in a crate in the coop at night and partly through the day for about 2 weeks now but my chickens are still going after them if I let them loose with them. Is there anything else I can do or just wait it out longer? It's a major pain moving them outside in the morning then back in again in the evening, I was almost considering letting them free range because I can't keep doing this once I go back to work next week, but they wouldn't have an actual coop to come back to at night.
 

DobieLover

Easily distracted by chickens
Premium Feather Member
Jul 23, 2018
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NY Southern Tier
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I have 3 chicken chicks that I'm trying to introduce to my flock. They are about 9-10 weeks old. I've had them in a crate in the coop at night and partly through the day for about 2 weeks now but my chickens are still going after them if I let them loose with them. Is there anything else I can do or just wait it out longer? It's a major pain moving them outside in the morning then back in again in the evening, I was almost considering letting them free range because I can't keep doing this once I go back to work next week, but they wouldn't have an actual coop to come back to at night.
Can you please post some pictures of your setup?
How many adults do you have?
How much space do you have in the coop? In the run?
Successful integration is all about resources, space being one of the most important ones. If the low ranking member cannot get out of the way far enough to the liking of the higher rankers they will get pummeled.
Food is another protected resource. Put feeders everywhere.
Have many places to perch at different levels.
Have many places to get out of the line of sight of the bigs.
Have lots of things to do in the run besides beat up the new guys.
If you free range, let everyone out. They will do much better.
But if your coop is undersized for your flock... you've got trouble at roost time.
 

Gordonsetter2007

Chirping
May 28, 2020
33
123
56
Clover, VIRGINIA
I have 3 chicken chicks that I'm trying to introduce to my flock. They are about 9-10 weeks old. I've had them in a crate in the coop at night and partly through the day for about 2 weeks now but my chickens are still going after them if I let them loose with them. Is there anything else I can do or just wait it out longer? It's a major pain moving them outside in the morning then back in again in the evening, I was almost considering letting them free range because I can't keep doing this once I go back to work next week, but they wouldn't have an actual coop to come back to at night.
My Chicken GoTo sister says put them together at night in the dark, and when they wake up together, it’s no big deal. The babies do need to be close to the originals in size, or they get picked on no matter what.
Then, just watch for a little bit the first morning, just to make sure they are accepted. Let me know if you are successful!
 

DobieLover

Easily distracted by chickens
Premium Feather Member
Jul 23, 2018
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NY Southern Tier
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My Chicken GoTo sister says put them together at night in the dark, and when they wake up together, it’s no big deal. The babies do need to be close to the originals in size, or they get picked on no matter what.
Then, just watch for a little bit the first morning, just to make sure they are accepted. Let me know if you are successful!
I've read many posts where someone tried this approach and chicks ended up with the back of their scalp pecked off.
The OPs adult chickens are already resource guarding and driving off the littles. They are not going to be accepting of them just because morning comes and now they are on the roost with them.
Here is a picture of my 6 week olds on the far right side of the roost that had entered the flock on their own and started roosting with the bigs. They had been intermingling with the bigs since 3.5 weeks old.
1591360562840.png

No one was ever injured. There was never anything more than normal pecking order pecks and driving the chicks off of the feeder until the bigs were done eating.
 

Bellagrl

Chirping
Oct 8, 2019
78
119
71
Orange county New You
I've read many posts where someone tried this approach and chicks ended up with the back of their scalp pecked off.
The OPs adult chickens are already resource guarding and driving off the littles. They are not going to be accepting of them just because morning comes and now they are on the roost with them.
Here is a picture of my 6 week olds on the far right side of the roost that had entered the flock on their own and started roosting with the bigs. They had been intermingling with the bigs since 3.5 weeks old.
View attachment 2177859
No one was ever injured. There was never anything more than normal pecking order pecks and driving the chicks off of the feeder until the bigs were done eating.
The one night I didn't realize it but I didn't latch the crate right when I put them in the coop with the others at night and when I went out late morning they were running around the coop. I tried to let them out with the others another morning and they went after them, not crazy but the ones chick was freaking out and trying to fly out but theres wire across the top.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
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8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
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Can you please post some pictures of your setup?
How many adults do you have?
How much space do you have in the coop? In the run?
Good questions here^^^ @Bellagrl can you respond to them?


Here some tips about.....
Integration Basics:
It's all about territory and resources(space/food/water).
Existing birds will almost always attack new ones to defend their resources.
Understanding chicken behaviors is essential to integrating new birds into your flock.

Confine new birds within sight but physically segregated from older/existing birds for several weeks, so they can see and get used to each other but not physically interact.

In adjacent runs, spread scratch grains along the dividing mesh, best if mesh is just big enough for birds to stick their head thru, so they get used to eating together.

The more space, the better.
Birds will peck to establish dominance, the pecked bird needs space to get away. As long as there's no copious blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down and beaten unmercilessly, let them work it out. Every time you interfere or remove new birds, they'll have to start the pecking order thing all over again.

Multiple feed/water stations. Dominance issues are most often carried out over sustenance, more stations lessens the frequency of that issue.

Places for the new birds to hide 'out of line of sight'(but not a dead end trap) and/or up and away from any bully birds. Roosts, pallets or boards leaned up against walls or up on concrete blocks, old chairs tables, branches, logs, stumps out in the run can really help. Lots of diversion and places to 'hide' instead of bare wide open run.
Good ideas for hiding places:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/a-cluttered-run.1323792/
 

Doc7

Songster
May 12, 2018
747
1,077
198
Central Virginia
Here is a video of how I do it. I don’t offer as many doors or hiding places as others do but I have had success with this several times. I integrate at 16-19 days of age, after they have been in the coop separated by hardware cloth since Day 1. The coop and run both have separation doors.



40D46246-B696-4753-8311-BC8A988694D6.jpeg
 

Bellagrl

Chirping
Oct 8, 2019
78
119
71
Orange county New You
I put them in the coop at night in the cage with the other chickens, during the day I put them in the pen near the chickens pen, that's the closest I can get it right now. I like the idea of having thier pen right up against the chickens with a door. I think I'm going to work on building something
 

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