Introducing new chicks in with older chicks/chickens

julseegs

Hatching
6 Years
Apr 8, 2013
4
0
9
Southern Maine
My husband and I currently have 6 black australorp chicks and we are planning on getting 4 buff orpington chicks next week. My question is: at what age can we introduce the new chicks to the older chicks (well chickens at that point) and do you have any tips on how to introduce them to reduce chances of fighting? The coop should be done this weekend so we're planning on putting the australrops outside, but keeping the buff's inside until they have their feathers (about 5 weeks). Any thoughts/advice?
 

Chicken Lily

In the Brooder
6 Years
Mar 26, 2013
32
0
34
Introducing new chickens to old chickens is always hard. This is what I have done and it has worked out well:
Wait until the chicks' adult feathers grow in, then you can begin the introduction process. First, let the chickens see each other. In the daytime, put the new chicks in a cage or run, so they older ones can observe the "strangers". At night you can put them back in their coops like normal. After a few days of this routine you can let the chickens meet face to face in a large open area. Don't introduce them in the coop because the new chickens won't have anywhere to run when the older ones show them who is boss. Warning, there will be fighting. I am sure you will feel bad for the babies just like I usually do, but you have to let the older ones establish the pecking order...it is just nature's way. After at least a week of meeting in the day and sleeping separately at night, they should be fine together all the time. Hope this helps. Good Luck!
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julseegs

Hatching
6 Years
Apr 8, 2013
4
0
9
Southern Maine
This is great news and great advice! I am just worried that things won't work out and debating if I should add the buff orpingtons or call it good with the 6 australrops to avoid conflict. Good to know things settle down after a week or so...phew. Thanks!
 

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