Mixing up the ages.

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by jrooster70, Jul 5, 2016.

  1. jrooster70

    jrooster70 Just Hatched

    7
    1
    11
    Mar 22, 2016
    We had a tragedy with 3 of 5 of our hens. We are kind of starting back over. My question is, is it harder or easier to add bittys to grown coop or should we get juveniles or adults instead?
     
  2. widelacing

    widelacing Out Of The Brooder

    75
    3
    28
    May 18, 2016
    Oak Harbor, WA
    I always prefer to get them as young as possible, so that they know you as they grow. Also if they come from a hatchery you have an almost guaranteed disease free start. Keep them in a brooder (lots on here about good brooders) and move them into the big coop when they are almost fully feathered. In our climate here in the NW they are ready when they have feathers except on their faces.
     
  3. Spartan22

    Spartan22 Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,131
    255
    226
    Sep 2, 2014
    North Canton, Ohio
    I also preferred to raise them from day one, I got 3 gens of chickens and they all living happily in one coop and one big run.
     
  4. jrooster70

    jrooster70 Just Hatched

    7
    1
    11
    Mar 22, 2016
    Thankyou both for your comments. I like the idea of chick's growing up to know us like our others did. I just also know that adding to a flock is sometimes torture on the newbies. I think I'll do babys. Thankyou
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. Spartan22

    Spartan22 Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,131
    255
    226
    Sep 2, 2014
    North Canton, Ohio
    No probs, I appreciated all the help from the BYC experts when I had no clue bout chickining biz.
     
  6. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

    8,216
    2,202
    421
    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    If you have enough room in your coop, you can put them in a brooder in the coop right away. I had mine in the coop as day-olds in MN at the end of March. I did use a heat lamp, and was able to divide my coop so the big chickens didn't have access to the babies. I let them out of the brooder at about 2 weeks (keeping the heat available), then integrated with the older hens at 5-6 weeks. Check users azygous and aart on the installation and use of "panic doors" for your chicks when integrating. Also, make sure there are multiple feeding and watering stations, and plenty of places for the chicks to hide.
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    32,802
    5,551
    556
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    I integrated this years chicks at about 4 weeks old.
    They went into the coop at 1 week with their heater, separated by a mostly mesh temporary wall from the main flock.
    They had their own feed, water, roost, and run in the 'coop partition' as I call it.
    At 4 weeks I opened the three tiny doors in the mesh wall and 'taught' them how to go in and out.
    At 6 weeks I took down the wall completely.
    There were a few pecks of course, some of the bigs pestered the littles more than others, but overall it was much less dramatic than usual.
    I think the chicks were less of a 'threat' than when I used to wait until the chicks were larger...and a smaller, faster target to hit, haha!
    Now at 10 weeks old, they all get along pretty darn well.
    It was nice to get the integration over sooner rather than later and because I had way more chicks this year it was a very good move to integrate younger,
    it's pretty crowded out there, but they are already used to each other.
     
  8. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

    4,613
    1,161
    356
    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    On the other hand, if you can get older birds, I have done that, and been happy with it. As for getting used to you, if you spend a bit of time each day in the coop, they will get used to you. This time of year, it might be hard to get chicks in some places.

    Mrs K
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by