question on housing teenagers

jaemi

Chirping
May 12, 2015
22
1
57
I have six 8 week old pullets living in my coop, and another seven chicks living in a brooder in my kitchen. The older gals were picking on my 8 week old faverolle so I brought her inside and she gets along with my 2 week old chicks so I moved them out of their plastic tub brooder and into a very large dog crate. My question is what do you guys do when your chicks outgrow their brooder but are still too small to be put in the coop with your older girls? I was advised to hold off integrating until my little guys are feathered out and are a similar size to the older pullets in the coop. I can't imagine having my six bigger gals living in my kitchen so theres no way I want eight in here when theyre that size! I do have a barn that I could move them to but not sure what I should build to house them while I wait for them to be ready to join the flock. Suggestions?
 

Judy

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Feb 5, 2009
34,024
580
448
South Georgia
A lot of people have grow out pens for this purpose. It's really the same components as your regular flock uses, if you want to have them predator proof. Having a barn should help a lot. You could just cobble together a corner somewhere with hardware cloth. Do make it 4 sq ft per bird. I wouldn't bother with nests; they should be big enough to integrate by then. You can also use a setup like this to brood chicks if you wish. Many people breed their chicks outdoors from day one with heat lamps, heating pads, etc.

Another approach is to build something right next to your regular flock with only chicken wire between, so tht both rous can see and hear each other all the time. This ordinarily makes integration go more smoothly, when the time comes.
 

triplepurpose

Crowing
12 Years
Oct 13, 2008
1,018
265
289
Another approach is to build something right next to your regular flock with only chicken wire between, so tht both rous can see and hear each other all the time. This ordinarily makes integration go more smoothly, when the time comes.

That's what we do and what I'd recommend.

We often find that by 8 weeks or so, the younger ones are flying or jumping over into the adults' area anyway whether we like it or not. At two months old or so, they make get "picked on," especially at first, by older birds, but as there is no ambiguity over pecking order (little ones on the bottom), it's not generally a safety concern, though we always monitor it at least at first. Generally, the little ones just learn to respect the big ones and give them some space, and when they get pecked, they just dodge away (and then circle back). The only other caveat is that we make sure to spread the feed out among enough different troughs during feeding times that the older chickens can't hog it all, and to make sure that we dole out enough feed that the little ones get enough to eat (since the older ones dominate and eat first), which requires judgement, experience, and some observation, but isn't really as complicated or hard as it sounds. (And if you're lucky, you may have a rooster that adopts and sticks up for the juveniles, as I once did).
 
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yyz0yyz0

Songster
9 Years
May 2, 2012
618
115
194
when it's warm enough you could move the dog crate into your run, that way they all get used to each other before being allowed to mingle.
 

jaemi

Chirping
May 12, 2015
22
1
57
If I build a pen next to the run what sort of enclosure should they sleep in, do I need to build a small coop? I live in ny so it gets chilly at night.
 

jaemi

Chirping
May 12, 2015
22
1
57
So do the chickens sleep in the grow out pen? Won't they get cold? Do I need to build a small coop inside the pen? Sorry I'm so confused.
 

triplepurpose

Crowing
12 Years
Oct 13, 2008
1,018
265
289
Not sure what's so confusing...

They obviously need all the same provisions, including protection from the elements, as any other chickens (with the exception that chicks usually don't started roosting to sleep at night until they are about 3 months old). The exact design or arrangement you set up would depend on the existing layout and the resources you're working with. Coop arrangements vary quite a bit--what doesn't vary is the basic requirements of humane housing, while your specific circumstances, resources and abilities dictate how you fulfill them...
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
95,369
126,645
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
I built my coop so I could put a temporary wire wall up when I needed to segregate growing chicks, rogue cockerels, broody hens, etc.
2 people doors and 2 pop doors, there is also a separate run.
 

jaemi

Chirping
May 12, 2015
22
1
57
I ended up putting a divider in the coop and run. My "confusion" was because when I google images of grow out pens it shows pens with no housing within the pen so I was wondering where people let their chickens sleep and if not in a coop in the pen, were they moving them manually from pen to coop during the evenings. Also wanted to know how large of a coop would have been needed to house the chicks but nvm.
 

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