Question about new chicks with older chicks

SueT

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
May 27, 2015
9,541
29,805
947
SW MO
I learned on BYC to introduce youngsters in a see-no-touch set up. After 2 or 3 weeks, I let them in together and see how it goes.
I feed all my chickens of all ages an all-flock feed. I use Purina Flock Raiser, but every brand has a version of this.
 

Pghelp

Songster
Jul 4, 2018
233
364
156
Greater Bay Area, Vallejo, California
Wondering the best way to add 5 chicks that are 7 weeks adding to A flock of 3 old timers. Also how long do they have to eat the baby chick food as opposed to adult chicken food
I have 6 chicks almost 7 weeks old that I've moved to a coop and am introducing to 2 older hens. So far they're only in the yard together when I'm around to supervise. There's some head pecking but nothing vicious. It's important that the little ones get comfortable in their coop and know that's their safe place. Also bushes, pieces of wood, whatever makes a good hiding place is important so they can escape getting picked on. I have a setup so that the older hens have their coop and the littles have their own coop. I don't trust them together yet. I definitely feed the chick starter feed until time for them to start laying. The adult feed has more calcium in it than the little ones need since they aren't making eggs. I also supplement with greens and veggie scraps which they love.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
94,924
125,407
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
All your birds could eat starter or an all flock, just put out some Oyster Shell for the active layers. Has worked here for 7 years.

Here's some tips about....
Integration Basics:
It's all about territory and resources(space/food/water).
Existing birds will almost always attack new ones to defend their resources.
Understanding chicken behaviors is essential to integrating new birds into your flock.

Confine new birds within sight but physically segregated from older/existing birds for several weeks, so they can see and get used to each other but not physically interact.

In adjacent runs, spread scratch grains along the dividing mesh, best if mesh is just big enough for birds to stick their head thru, so they get used to eating together.

The more space, the better.
Birds will peck to establish dominance, the pecked bird needs space to get away. As long as there's no copious blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down and beaten unmercilessly, let them work it out. Every time you interfere or remove new birds, they'll have to start the pecking order thing all over again.

Multiple feed/water stations. Dominance issues are most often carried out over sustenance, more stations lessens the frequency of that issue.

Places for the new birds to hide 'out of line of sight'(but not a dead end trap) and/or up and away from any bully birds. Roosts, pallets or boards leaned up against walls or up on concrete blocks, old chairs tables, branches, logs, stumps out in the run can really help. Lots of diversion and places to 'hide' instead of bare wide open run.
Good ideas for hiding places:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/a-cluttered-run.1323792/
 

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