Introducing new chicks to old chickens

FlipandBean

Hatching
May 5, 2015
3
0
7
Hello everyone. Can you offer some advice on adding 11 or 12 week old chicks into a flock of 1&2-year-old chicken and one year-old chicken. When do I introduce them? How is the best way to do this to avoid fighting? How much time should I give them to just one another?
 
Last edited:

azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
23,053
32,818
1,102
Colorado Rockies
Start by letting the chicks spend time around the two adult chickens in a safe pen. Give them a few days to get acquainted, and then let the chicks in with the adults.

It helps to have plenty of space for evading the adults if the adults choose to be bullies. Numerous perches are a big help in giving the chicks places to retreat to. Stumps and old furniture, likewise.

I doubt you'll have much trouble, though. Since there are many more chicks than adults, the two adults will wear themselves plumb out trying to run after that many. More likely they will give the chicks each a stern peck on the head or back to teach them who's boss, and let it go at that.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
94,355
123,898
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
I'm confused on how many chicks and how old they are...
.....I read the OP as an indeterminate number of chicks that are 11 or 12 weeks old?
...or maybe it's 11 or 12 chicks that are one week old?
It's hard to write numbers and ages clearly sometimes.


Anyway.....

Here's some notes I've taken on integration that I found to be very helpful.......
......take what applies or might help and ignore the rest.
See if any of them, or the links provided at the bottom, might offer some tips that will assist you in your situation:

Integration of new chickens into flock.


Consider medical quarantine:
BYC Medical Quarantine Article
Poultry Biosecurity
BYC 'medical quarantine' search

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. Integrating new birds of equal size works best.

For smaller chicks I used a large wire dog crate right in the coop for the smallers. I removed the crate door and put up a piece of wire fencing over the opening and bent up one corner just enough for the smallers to fit thru but the biggers could not. Feed and water inside the crate for the smallers. Make sure the smallers know how to get in and out of the crate opening before exposing them to the olders. this worked out great for me, by the time the crate was too small for the them to roost in there(about 3 weeks), they had pretty much integrated themselves to the olders.

If you have too many smallers to fit in a crate you can partition off part of the coop with a wire wall and make the same openings for smallers escape.


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 blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down, 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 and/or up and away from any bully birds.

Read up on integration..... BYC advanced search>titles only>integration
This is good place to start reading:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/adding-to-your-flock
 

Dionna77

In the Brooder
Mar 1, 2015
31
1
26
I also have chicks that are younger and older and I pretty soon my young ones will be ready to join the other 2 chicks that are a month old but I was not sure how to go about introducing each them to the flock that is already outside. The young ones still have at least have about 2 or 3 weeks until they move out to join the other chicks. But, is it two early to have the other chicks get to know the younger chicks so when they do move in to the coop with the other flock the transition will be a little smoother? Does anyone have any ideas that would help every thing run smoother.

-Dionna
 

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