Please help!!! Mixing babies with big girls--best/safest way?

Scratchin' Around

In the Brooder
11 Years
Sep 2, 2008
New Sweden, Maine
I have 24 5 and 1/2 week old barred rocks and Ameraucanas. For the last week and 1/2, they have been sharing the coop with my 16 and 1/2 week old pullets (a silver-laced Wye, a Black Giant, 2 Barred Rocks, and 4 Ameraucanas). I divided the coop down the middle, so they can see each other, but the babies are protected from the big girls, as well as unable to go outside. I'd like to try to take the divider down tonight, when the big girls are asleep, as I'll be home to watch them tomorrow. And I have about a dozen questions.

Will the big girls hurt them? They have been nice to each other, but the little ones look really small comparatively.

Will the red heat lamp create enough light for the big girls to decide they don't have to sleep, but should stay up and pick on the babies while I'm sleeping?

Can these babies go outside? Our nighttime temps are starting to dip into the upper-20's. Tomorrow should be sunny, but with highs in the upper-40's.

And when can I take away the light completely? I've been raising it up little by little, but I've been fearful to take it away completely.
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Flock Mistress
Premium Feather Member
13 Years
Sep 6, 2007
Corydon, Indiana
I'd like to know too. So far, I have introduced them free ranging in my back yard. Then they go in the coop for the night, but sleep. I usually find the little ones hiding in the morning, then I let them out. I do set up alot of hiding places for them in the coop, and have not put any out there less than 6-8 weeks depending on size, and how fast they can run


Where Chickens Ride Horses
12 Years
Jul 9, 2007
always changing
Take the divider away and then watch what happens. They may pick on them some, but if they are not super aggressive, they will work it out. My chickies were out all night at 5 weeks, even younger, with temps into the low 30's. I just started by taking them out during the day and letting them spend longer periods of time into the evening until it was all night.
seminolewind, that is exactly how you do it!!


Pooper Peeper
11 Years
Jul 26, 2008
Sebastopol, CA
Will the big girls hurt them?

I had a similar situation only I was trying to put bantams with standards. My Cochin was not having it. I kept the silkie bantams in a small cage inside the run and would put them away at night in the coop inside a little kitty carrier, I did this for almost a month-No way were the big girls having it. So Dh made the silkies their own little coop and run. I was just so afraid the big girls were going to rip the silkies to shreds with their talons. My point is the silkies were small I felt it was too risky to try and mix them. Now when your babies are bigger they will be able to hold their own. But the "hiding places" is a great idea. I've heard that suggested from other sources.

As for the rest of your questions I will leave that to someone who is more experienced with your types of temps.


The Great Guru of Yap
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Aug 25, 2008
The Carpal Tunnel Rehab Center
We have had the greatest luck with this. It is good that they have been able to see each other, that helps a TON! We waited until they were 6 weeks to open a hatch from their space to the bigger hens space. They have been a little wary to go out, but they did it slowly, and today we closed them out of their section. They got pecked but only normal I'm the boss not you kind of stuff. They stayed out in the coop with the older ones until bed time. The poor roo couldn't figure out how to get them in.


The Great Guru of Yap
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Aug 25, 2008
The Carpal Tunnel Rehab Center
Take the light away when they are fully feathered. Ours just reached that point this weekend and we took it away today. But our chickens are spoiled and they have a radiator in the hen house to keep them warm.

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