Mixing chickens

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by harmony farm, Dec 27, 2016.

  1. harmony farm

    harmony farm Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 24, 2016
    Victoria australia

    I have 10 week old chickens ,i hatched in incubator,i have had them segregated from my other chickens which are 14 months old, when do you think be safe to put them all together?

    Thx Chris
  2. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    Howdy harmony farm

    I usually leave mine until they are 10-12 weeks old; so any time now should be fine.

    I use the ‘look but not touch’ method of integration using wire or a crate etc so that they can get used to each other without the threat of injury. I keep them separated in this way for at least a week.

    Does your flock free range?

    I let the existing flock out for a free range while the newbies are locked in the coop and run. This gives the newbies the opportunity to explore and feel comfortable in what will be their new home without the threat of being picked on and also learn where all the good hiding spots are.

    Same with free range, but reversed; I let the newbies wander around the garden while the existing flock are locked in. Granted, the existing flock have a good whinge about this ;) but again, it gives the newbies chance to explore, get settled and find all the good hiding spots without being picked on.

    I find that free ranging is a good opportunity to let everyone get to know each other .. space is a great tool when integrating.

    I also find that a water pistol comes in handy .. it is amazing how a squirt of water in front of them can cause a chicken to change her mind about picking on someone

    Also, when they are integrated into the run and coop, for a couple of months I ensure that there is more than one source of water and food, just in case the newbies are being bullied away from either.
  3. harmony farm

    harmony farm Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 24, 2016
    Victoria australia
    Thx ill try that first i think
  4. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

    Nov 7, 2012
    Many of us have found that integrating chicks at a much younger age (say about the time they are weaned off heat, and sometimes earlier) actually works better. Azygous is one of the queens of early integration. She has come up with a really nice "panic room" in her coop that allows the babies to integrate while still using a heating pad brooder. A lot depends on your set up and how well you are able to provide a safe escape area in the coop for the littles.

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