Question about integrating 2 sets of chickens...

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by susanah, May 11, 2011.

  1. susanah

    susanah Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 23, 2009
    We have 3 bantams that are almost 6 weeks old. We think at least 1, possibly 2 are roosters.

    Thinking about getting 2 to 3 more, in case we can't keep the roos. But they will be about 6 weeks apart.

    Will I have to wait til they are full grown to put together? Or if I put a cage with the young ones in the run with

    the older ones for a while do you think I can put them together after a couple weeks even with that kind of

    age difference. The older bantams are 1 cochin and we think 2 OEG's. I don't have anywhere to house

    extra chickens long term if we can't get them together early on.

    Thanks for any advice!
  2. Want Less

    Want Less Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 24, 2010
    New Bern, NC
    I have a friend who has had success in keeping chicks together that are several weeks apart in age, but I've also read lots of horror stories as well...

    If it were me, I'd try to wait until they were similar in size before putting them together.
  3. darin367

    darin367 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 1, 2010
    Shelton, Wa.
    i throw em all together at any age/size...... i just make sure the littler ones have a place only they can get to..... i placed a board in front of my coop just high enough that the little guys can get under there away from the bigger ones..... works great.....
  4. fresheggsdaily

    fresheggsdaily Out Of The Brooder

    May 12, 2011
    Suffolk VA
  5. KKatknap

    KKatknap Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 15, 2009
    Albany, OR
    Quote:I agree...sure it can work, but I figure the consequences if it doesn't are great enough that I always wait til the yougest are at least 8 wks old to put them together.
    And the cage inside the coop is a very good way to do it when you are ready.
  6. melschicks

    melschicks Out Of The Brooder

    May 9, 2011
    Dennis Port, MA
    I have the same question....
    So, once the timing is right, are there tricks besides having a safe spot for the small ones?

    I've heard that you sneak the new ones into the coop at night? Anyone have luck with that one?

    Or let them first meet while out free in the yard?? Anything else???

    My chick order got split (the faverolles didn't hatch), so I'll have 5 that are 3 weeks older than the 4 faverolles.

    I figure I'll rig up a smaller brooder for the new chicks for the first week or two, get the older ones out of the brooder into the coop around 5 weeks and put the young ones into the full size brooder, let them get to about 6 or 7 weeks in the brooder (maybe, if I can wait that long (it's 2x4'... will be holding 4 chicks), then integrate the two flocks. Sound like a good plan??? this is my first batch of chicks ever. I'm sort of miffed that they split the order.. wasn't planning on dealing with integration already!!

    Or is three weeks apart close enough that they can go together right away, with the safe spot for the babies?


    ps- do I need to first quarantine the new 4 faverolles if they are chicks from the same hatchery as the original 5???
    Last edited: May 12, 2011
  7. MareeZoCool

    MareeZoCool Chillin' With My Peeps

  8. ADozenGirlz

    ADozenGirlz The Chicken Chick[IMG]emojione/assets/png/00ae.png

    Oct 18, 2009
    You won't have to wait until they are older to join the two groups. In fact, the younger chickens are, the more adaptable they are to new flock members. The method you're describing is exactly how I integrate new chickens regardless of their age. I call it the 'playpen method' because it's a safe way to introduce the groups to each other, they can see and hear each other and become familiary with each other before allowed to make physical contact. Six weeks isn't as big an age difference as you may think. If you're interested in seeing my blog post about the playpen method, it can be found here:


BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by