New coop/new birdd/adding chicks-advice needed

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Angiebubs, Sep 25, 2011.

  1. Angiebubs

    Angiebubs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 19, 2011
    Amery, WI WI/MN border
    Hello!

    I just put 2 hens and 3-7 wk old pullets into the new coop. I have 8 chicks 4-5 wks old that I will be adding in a couple of weeks.

    Questions:
    -the 2 hens keep chasing the 3 pullets in coop-but nothing serious...and its large enough for them to get away/still get to food and water. Anything I need to watch for?
    -I have a run that I will be covering this week with a 5 ft fence around....when is it safe/recommended to start letting chicks/hens out in the run? (Im worried about letting them out in run now that they may be able to fly over 5 ft fence-so thinking I should wait for netting over run?)
    -What is the best way to integrate the new chicks (few weeks from now)? Place them in a cage in the coop for a few hrs each day for a couple days?


    Thank you
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    I would be careful about the hens with the different age groups. Most people recommend a fence or some other separation until the chicks are close to same size of older birds so they can defend themselves. As far as letting them out into the new run, I think it is best to keep them in the coop for at least a week so they know where home is, and where they sleep at night, then let them out to the run. They should put themselves to bed at night in the coop.
     
  3. Angiebubs

    Angiebubs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Amery, WI WI/MN border
    Thanks eggcessive. So the coop I have right now is part of a barn converted into a coop. Its divided down most of it by a stall wall/railing. Aprox 18 x 30? So they have lots of places to get away from the hens while still accessing food/water. The chicks in their previous home, were with these hens free ranging during the day. Think they will be ok? The pullets are pretty god sized as well. Thanks for your help
     
  4. bobbieschicks

    bobbieschicks Chicken Tender

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    King George, VA
    My Coop
    I'm no experte and I'm still merging my now 6.5 week old chicks with my now 10 week old chicks and have been actively doing it for about 2 weeks. [​IMG]

    Three weeks ago I started with having them all in the same coop but the babies are on the right side and the bigs are on the left side with a wall of hardware cloth dividing the two. At first during the day I would let the babies out in a pen I built for them inside the run while the bigs were out in the run. Then I went on vacation for a week and left the babies in their side the whole week while someone tended to them - I doubt she let the babies out.

    When I returned I began letting the bigs and babies in the same run all day with access to both sides of the coop. The bigs have been visiting the babies side and the babies have gone into the bigs side. They've merged enough to where the babies can sit near the bigs without getting chased or pecked at. The only time chasing happens is when the babies suddenly flap somewhere and the bigs take it to mean they want to tussle. Then there is some chasing that quickly subsides.

    Tonight (provided it stops raining) I'll go out and move over the babies after dark into the big's side and see how it goes in the a.m. I do not plan to put any additional hiding places in there for the babies - so we'll see how it goes.

    It worked well b/c they are now used to each other due to sharing the same coop but not having access to each other such that the bigs would hurt the babies.
     
  5. Angiebubs

    Angiebubs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Amery, WI WI/MN border
    Thanks Bobbieschicks.
    I have a pallet for the current 7 week olds to hide under/sides blocked. They can get out from the pallet, with the 2 larger hens-they all seem to be getting along just fine (but they have a plce to get away from the big hens.
    I am thinking that when Im ready to let my current ( 4 & 5 wk olds) into the coop,I will put them in a big wire dog cage in the coop for a few hrs each day for a week? Its probably 4 x 3 ft. Then on a weekend when Im home, let them all out together?
    Thanks for all the insighthelp
     
  6. bobbieschicks

    bobbieschicks Chicken Tender

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    Quote:That sounds like a good plan. [​IMG]
     

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