introduction methods?

Jrose

Songster
6 Years
Jun 6, 2013
493
112
156
I've read some people introduce younger birds earlier by offering them a special pen/run they can go to where the adults can't get in.

I have a 100sq ft coop, 5.8' high with roost perches up near the ceiling, lay boxes around one side, and the whole floor is open. Point being its very spacious. Their attached run is 14x20 with logs and perches, and as long as I'm home the girls free range an acre. So everyone's got plenty of room to spread out.

I've got 8 hens, 3 of which are 10+lb monsters and very dominant. The other 5 are chill. Im brooding 20~ chicks and 3 turkey poults. They're only a few days old right now.

It seems to me I've got space enough to keep them happy. I can easily set up a "chicks only" hideaway. Days are getting 70+, nights mostly above 40.

Thoughts on when it might be safe to introduce? This is my first round of chicks, and cute as they are, they're commandeering my spare bathroom and I'd rather not have them indoors for longer than neseccary!
 

Farmer Viola

Songster
6 Years
May 23, 2013
2,201
239
211
Earth
I'm in Oregon and our days are 60-70 (gonna be 86 on Thursday! yippee!) and nights around 40, too. I moved my chicks outside at 5 weeks with supplemental heat, and removed the heat at 7 weeks when they were all sleeping on the roost (not piling up).

I also divided the run AND coop in half using some cheap plastic chicken netting from home depot. it's not the wire kind, it's plastic and green, since we only needed it temporarily we did it on the cheap. we put it right down the center of the coop, giving the chicks half the roosts, and half the run. they stayed divided for 2 weeks. after that, I pulled down the divider and let everyone out to free range as well. (usually the big chickens only had access to range)

there has been some violence, and feather pulling, but no bloodshed. it can be upsetting to see the little ones get picked on. and for some reason it is the lowest hens in the pecking order who are the most brutal. but after 4 days of being combined, things are mostly settled down and tolerable.

I feel 8 weeks is big enough to "hold their own" next to a large full grown chicken. smaller than that, it's just too brutal.
 
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