Introducing new chicks to 15 week old chickens

nutmeg2356

Chirping
Feb 28, 2017
82
23
54
Hello!
I have 3, 6-week old chicks that I would like to integrate into my flock of 5, 15-week old chickens. I have been letting them have "meet and greets", where I bring the chicks out during the day in a little wire pen. The first day, the older ladies obviously acted a little aggressively since they hadn't met before. I have been doing this for a week or two, and now the older chickens completely ignore the new chicks.

Is it too early to try and integrate them? I know you should wait until they're the same size, but they are fully feathered and I'm starting to run out of room (they are now the same size the older chicks were when I moved them to their coop).
 

dixiebackyard

Chirping
Mar 27, 2015
55
24
66
Alabama
I have found it is easier to introduce chickens when they are roughly the same size. 10 weeks may not seem like much of a difference but it is. I would grow them out separately until they reach maturity because the pecking order can get rather rough on the smaller ones if not. Once they are relatively the same size then you can put a divider in the pen to allow introductions. Or you could put up a divider and put the older ones on one side and the younger ones on the other and grow them out side by side and when you do remove the divider they are already acquainted. Hope that helps
 

nutmeg2356

Chirping
Feb 28, 2017
82
23
54
That's the thing, I don't have room for a second coop. I live in a neighborhood and our one coop takes up a huge part of our backyard as is. They are in a makeshift brooder which is gettig pretty small
 

dixiebackyard

Chirping
Mar 27, 2015
55
24
66
Alabama
That's the thing, I don't have room for a second coop. I live in a neighborhood and our one coop takes up a huge part of our backyard as is. They are in a makeshift brooder which is gettig pretty small
is there a way you can make a temporary divider down the coop and run? or divide the run with a temporary coop ?
 

Ohmyheart

Songster
Mar 27, 2017
350
419
186
North Little Rock, AR
I'll be doing the same in a few weeks. My girls are about 12 weeks apart.

I've been reading and asked a few other chicken friends. What I've read and heard is that the older hens tend to ignore the chicks when they are younger and they transition easily into the flock. They aren't trying to get to the top of the pecking order.

What I read and been told is do the meet and greet like you're doing. Then when you think they aren't paying anymore attention a week or so for some. You make an escape room for the chicks. Like a Rubbermaid tub/dog crate upside down on some bricks where they can duck under to get away and hide if they need or want. The bigger girls can fit and the little ones have a hideout.

Anyway I read lots of post on here I'm sure you could find some to help you too. Like you I don't have a way to do it differently then what I posted.
 

nutmeg2356

Chirping
Feb 28, 2017
82
23
54
Well things took a bit of a change. I ended up breaking up with my boyfriend on memorial day weekend, and I took the coop apart and grabbed the chickens yesterday. The girls are in dog crates (the big girls in one, the younger girls in another). Hoping to have the coop up by tomorrow, but due to the fact that it was a pretty complex coop, I'm probably going to introduce the chicks and chickens today. I made the big girls a temporary run, and since they're in "new territory", I'm going to try and introduce them in the run today to see what happens. Since I just moved, I don't have the same room I did before, so I really need to get them combined so that everyone has the space they need.
 

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