mixing older chickens with younger

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Princessfarmer, Jun 4, 2011.

  1. Princessfarmer

    Princessfarmer Out Of The Brooder

    62
    0
    39
    Apr 9, 2011
    Roy, washington
    I have 6 four month old hens and two roos that have been free ranging for a few weeks now. I do have a run, but I just leave it open so the can freely go in and out of their coop. Inside the coop I have 8 about 2 month old or so hens fenced off with chicken wire. That way the.older birds can see them but not get at them. Its been this way for a dew weeks now. Just wondering when I can let them all together. The founder birds are close to the same size. I have let them in together a few times but the older birds always peck and I get scared. Do I just bite the bullet and let them figure it out? Or should I wait linger?
     
  2. ChicksterJo

    ChicksterJo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 19, 2011
    Grounded on Earth
    How big is the run? If it is pretty roomy, you can let them integrate but under close supervision. Put some stuff in the run that will allow your younger ones to hide from the older ones if they get pecked on too much. A piece of OSB board or anything that you can lean against a wall would be good. Also put out extra food and water dishes. If you let them free range they will have more room to run around/away from the older chickens, but at night and in the morning you will still need to watch to see that there's not much fighting.
     
  3. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    16,224
    672
    396
    Nov 18, 2007
    Florida
    My Coop
    I would put them together and let them figure it out. They aren't too different in ages. Maybe you could fix up a safe place for the younger chicks that the older ones can't get at. I did that with a cage. I put a piece of wire over the door so the younger chicks could escape into the cage but the older ones couldn't quite fit through. Eventually the younger chicks came out more and the older ones quit picking on them so much. I finally took the cage out and everyone is doing fine.
     
  4. shellyga

    shellyga Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 23, 2010
    Milner
    I agree that it is okay to put them together.. I intergrate even younger chicks with my free ranging (daytime only) flock. A certain amount of pecking will occur as they adjust the "pecking order" so to speak. I have found that my worst pecking culprits are my teenchicks.. those that are not near the top of the status chain.. they want the chicks to know that they are now the bottom.. and that they have made one step up in the rung of the status ladder.. My alpha hen, those close to the top and my roosters do not usually even bother with interacting.

    Shelly
     
  5. Princessfarmer

    Princessfarmer Out Of The Brooder

    62
    0
    39
    Apr 9, 2011
    Roy, washington
    Great! Thanks everyone! I think ill put them together tomorrow. The older chickens free range during the day every day. I haven't let the younge.r ones free range yet because they haven't spent much time outside in the run, only in the coop and I'm afraid they will get lost or run away. Do pi think I could let the younger ones free range yet? They have been in the coop for at least a few weeks.
     
  6. EatMorSteak

    EatMorSteak Out Of The Brooder

    63
    0
    39
    May 28, 2011
    I have 7 week old chicks that have been free ranging for a week now and they're doing fine. They go back in the coop by themselves when it gets dark. Since they are still small I do check on them often though. They don't seem to go off far from the coop. My coop is in a well shaded area and they love it.
     
  7. Princessfarmer

    Princessfarmer Out Of The Brooder

    62
    0
    39
    Apr 9, 2011
    Roy, washington
    I put the babies in with the older chicks yesterday and they did well. They slept together in the coop and everything went smoothly....as far as I can see. The only thing I noticed is that when I went out this morning to let them out the babies weren't on the roost....the were sleeping together on the floor. I don't know why, there is plenty of room on the roost for all of them....
     
  8. Princessfarmer

    Princessfarmer Out Of The Brooder

    62
    0
    39
    Apr 9, 2011
    Roy, washington
    all the birds slept on the roost last night....YAAAY
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by