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Introducing the babies to the 1 year olds?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Kibou, Mar 8, 2016.

  1. Kibou

    Kibou Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 8, 2016
    We have 11 soon ready to move outside baby chick's...and 3 1year old chicks.
    They will live together until we will use some for meat and some for eggs in a while. But how do we best and safest introduce them?
  2. sunny & the 5 egg layers

    sunny & the 5 egg layers Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 29, 2011
    I would wait until the babies are large enough to fend for themselves prior to introducing them to your established flock. I've introduced a couple chickens to my flock before, and I generally wait until they are around 12 weeks-16 weeks, depending on the breed and how many I am introducing.

    I generally brood the chicks in a large cage in the coop prior to their introduction. That way they can see the older chickens but cannot harm eachother.
    The best way I have found to make the final introduction is to place the new birds on the roost bar in the middle of the night. This way everybody wakes up together.

    There WILL be some fighting among your flock as the pecking order gets sorted out again, obviously just keep an eye on things and make sure nobody gets seriously injured. After a few days the fighting should diminish.

    There is a very informative article floating around BYC about properly introducing new birds to your flock. It's a lovely source, if only I could find it again.

    Best of luck to you.
    1 person likes this.
  3. chicklover 1998

    chicklover 1998 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 30, 2015
    Welcome to BYC, you can put them in a cage for the meet and greet so the older ones can't attack but they can still see each other, the other option is to put them inside with the others at night on the roost.
    1 person likes this.
  4. junebuggena

    junebuggena Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 17, 2015
    Long Beach, WA
    Two weeks in a get-to-know-you pen/coop, starting at 6 weeks old. Then let them meet. By then, the chicks will be big enough to handle some pecking order scuffles. And the older girls may be overwhelmed by the sheer number of new-comers. 3 versus 11, with the numbers being in favor of the chicks is really good. Make sure that everybody has plenty of room, and have multiple food and water stations available.
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  5. Kibou

    Kibou Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 8, 2016
    So...we need to wait a few more weeks :) the babies have started being escape artists now...especially the australtorps :) [​IMG]
    this is today's attempt to keep them in place ;-)
  6. Kibou

    Kibou Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 8, 2016
    We have nice and warm weather and we have electricity available outside just outside of the big girls run, so I hoped I could take the babies out with their heater asap :) they are safer in the coop than flying around in the house I guess
  7. junebuggena

    junebuggena Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 17, 2015
    Long Beach, WA
    If your coop is big enough, you can section off a portion of it for the chicks and brood them with their heat source there. But you will need to make sure that the adults can't get to the chicks at all.
    1 person likes this.
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    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

    It's about territory and resources(space/food/water). Existing birds will almost always attack new ones.
    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. Integrating new birds of equal size works best.

    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.

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

    Another option, if possible, is to put all birds in a new coop and run, this takes the territoriality issues away.

    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.

    Best example ever of chick respite and doors by azygous

    Read up on integration..... BYC advanced search>titles only>integration
    This is good place to start reading:
    1 person likes this.
  9. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

    Feb 25, 2014
    Northwestern Wyoming
    My Coop
    By using a wire pen, I achieve full integration with the Bigs by the time the Littles are 4 weeks old. They can see each other all of the time and it's amazing how much the Littles learn from watching the Bigs! I prop open the door enough so that the babies can get in and out but the older birds can't follow. This year I plan to use @azygous system of portal doors in the brooder pen rather than trying to wire the door in one position, but other than that I'll do things exactly as I have been doing....brooding outdoors with the Bigs from the start. This is my first time attempting to hatch here, and those chicks will go outside to the run as soon as they are dry and fluffy.

    Multiple feeders and watering stations are a must, as @aart has said.They also need a place to get away from the Bigs. I have a huge log in my run, and it's hollow. The Littles run right under if they get spooked, and the Bigs can't fit under there. Then, as I said, they can also go into their pen if they need to. It's worked beautifully for me.



  10. azygous

    azygous Overrun With Chickens

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    No need to wait. You can move the chicks now, either to a safe pen in your coop or in the run. After a week or so of being in proximity to the adult flock, you can safely move the chicks into the coop to sleep at night.

    With the "panic room" method of integration, you can merge chicks, letting them mingle with the adults, as early as three weeks of age. The principle of the panic room, which purpose Blooie's wire cage serves as would any safe pen, is to provide refuge for the chicks where the adults can't follow.

    It's important to have food and water inside this safe area so the chicks can get essentials without being harassed. They learn very quickly that they can have the run of the place while always having a safe place to run back to when the pecking order becomes stressful

    I addressed all this, with photos, in my article on brooding outdoors, linked below.

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