My 2 month old hens

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by ange, Jun 9, 2016.

  1. ange

    ange Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 15, 2009
    CORNING NY
    iMy 2 month old hens. I have them In a separate area, any from my laying hens. I do not want my new babies to get hurt from my older hens and I do. It want my young chicks to get lost when I let the other ones out to roam freely. What is the best suggestions for breaking them in and how long before I can enter them with the older flock and how long before I can let them free range, so,they will,return, we are. It fenced in but they always come back home at dusk, and stay within my site range.
     
  2. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

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    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    The longer you wait to introduce the chicks to the adult hens, the harder it is going to be.

    The two age groups need to observe and get to know each other through a safety barrier for a couple of weeks, and then gradually allowed to mingle with plenty of avenues of escape such as perches of varying heights and things to hide behind.

    I use the panic room method where a safe enclosure with chick size openings allow only the smaller birds to use it, assuring a safe refuge where food and water are always available so the chicks never go without due to bullying.

    My chicks are four and a half weeks old and have grown up since day one in proximity to the rest of the flock. They are now sleeping in the coop and even free-ranging each day along with the adult chickens. They still use their panic room when they want to rest and lower their guard, but they are mingling with the adults full time with little bullying.

    As for your concern that your chicks will run off and not find their way back if you let them out, you don't need to worry. My chicks had the opportunity to venture out of the run at a very early age, but only did so when they grew old enough to feel safe in doing so. At first they stick very close to the run, only venturing farther away after they thoroughly explore and learn the perimeter of the run. Mine spent a good week just running around hugging the outside fence before they started wandering farther out. They always come right back and never once have I had to go chase them down to get them back in.

    For more information on how the panic room system of integration works and to see photos of it, click on the second link below my post.
     

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