Mixing 1 year old hens, 5 week olds, and then more born this week


7 Years
May 23, 2012
I have 3 hens, and 14 mixed breed chicks born May 3rd inside my house (4 roasters that are getting big fast), and am getting another possible 12 that will hatch May 24 ish. I have read a ton on this site about integrating and realize I created a headache for myself. I have an 8 by 8 run under a 4 x 8 coop. Thinking I will add space in the run, maybe double it to 16x16. They do range a few days or evenings a week when we are around. Coop is big enough to walk in and has several roosts in it at different heights. Realize it will be a bit crowded. Hoping to have 12-16 birds overwinter.

My thought is - add a small (chicken tractor) coop in a separate yard for the May 3rd round, keep the little ones inside until they are 2 months old, then redo the whole yard so everyone has a new space and integrate all of them - with the little ones getting a slice of the yard with the tractor while the others move into the big coop. I will let them range in the day when I am home, but we lost many already to predation (live in the woods basically). Fox, owl, Coyote, neighbor dogs, fisher, bear, etc all around.

Roasters for meat and I am going to butcher roosters in the fall, unless they are super passive. Not sure about incoming chix as they are from a school project. If they are roasters - I will butcher them as well.

Any thoughts on multi generations? Aside from overwintering coop limitations for more than 12-16 birds - and needing to make a bigger run for sure - have I forgotten anything?

Am I nuts?

Thanks, D


Rest in Peace 1980-2020
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Jun 28, 2011
No you are not nuts! It is good to keep separate ages separately. The older chickens may bully the youngsters and your run is small, so it's going to be chaos if you put them all in there together. Ideally you should allow your chickens 10sq foot each in the run. If you are planning on getting chicks again it may be a good idea to build them their own small coop + run? Then they can stay there until they are big enough to join the older guys.

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