Planning - When to move chicks in with adult hens?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by AllChookUp, May 23, 2008.

  1. AllChookUp

    AllChookUp Will Shut Up for Chocolate

    May 7, 2008
    Frozen Lake, MN
    I have some 1+ year-old hens and a rooster.

    I'm getting 10 chicks in June 24 (5 buff Orps and 5 gold Wyandottes). I plan to keep the chicks in separate separate heated housing for a while.

    The problem is that we are heading out on a 2-week vacation to Montana & Wyoming on July 14. I've got some good neighbors who will take care of the chicks and adults while I'm gone.

    At what point is it safe or advisable to put the growing chicks in with the adult hens and rooster? Sounds like around 60 days or so?
  2. Dawn419

    Dawn419 Lost in the Woods

    Apr 16, 2007
    Evening Shade, AR
    It's recommended that you don't add them to the adults until the younder ones are about the same size.

    Hope this helps!

  3. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    The chicks need to be close to the same size as the adult chickens before trying to mix - usually around 16 weeks old.

    At that time put them in a small pen in the same run so the older chickens can get used to them but can't get to them. In about a week go out at night and put the new ones on the roost with the older ones. They will all wake up together and not realize the change. There will be some squabbling and fights but the pecking order has to be re-established and that takes time. The new chickens will be big enough to defend themselves and fight back.

    If you put younger smaller chicks out with the older ones several things can happen. They won't be big enough to defend themselves from the attacks that will come from the older birds while establishing a new pecking order. They can be bullied and starved to death by the older chickens. If they are really small they can be killed out right by the other chickens.

    You may need to put together a smaller pen for them if they don't reach good size before your vacation.
  4. SoccerMomof7

    SoccerMomof7 Songster

    Apr 13, 2008
    My oldest ones are about 9 weeks and they would not be big enough to put in with full grown chickens.
  5. Half-a-dozen

    Half-a-dozen Songster

    May 26, 2007
    babies going in with full grown hens...I'd have to say less than a month old is much to soon....unless you had some phenominal hens who all wanted to be mommies...[​IMG]

    I have 10 weeks living with my hens now. They have been in there about two weeks now, but they are still hiding out in the coop (afraid of the big girls).

    I also tried to place a few new 8 weekers in their coop... and within an hour they tourn one of the lil ones up to have a bloody face...[​IMG]
    So I placed those in a dog cage inside the coop for a few more weeks I guess...[​IMG]

    The decision is really individual. Most will say wait a bit, others I have read have had success throwing them in together (after a few weeks) ... I wouldn't recommend it tho...only due to personal experiences.

    Good Luck
  6. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

    Feb 20, 2008
    Opelousas, Louisiana
    My 1 year old RIRs HATE my 14 week old bantams. MY RIRs try to sneak up behind them and attack them. They go for their heads and try to rip them off. I have to keep them separated. That is a relationship that will never happen.
  7. AllChookUp

    AllChookUp Will Shut Up for Chocolate

    May 7, 2008
    Frozen Lake, MN
    Thanks, all. I guess I was leaning toward not having them together for quite a while until after we got back. Thanks also for the suggestions on how to start mixing them.

    Have a good Memorial, all!

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