Safe time to let my chicks, 1 month old, in with older hens?


Nov 20, 2018
Box Elder South Dakota
So i hatched 3 chicks on August 11th and i have had them in the main coop, but separated from the rest, for about 3 weeks. When would be good time to let them try to integrate with older hens?
So they are about five weeks old. That's when I let my chicks loose with the adults. My brooder is in the coop and I just open the brooder door after I open the pop door and the adults go outside. My coop and the area outside are large so the chicks have some room so they can stay away from the adults, at least during the day. At night my chicks do not sleep on the roosts with the adults but sleep somewhere else. And I have weather so they can be outside all day every day. You probably still have that in North Dakota.

I don't know how much room you have, inside and outside or how many chickens you have, but I'd try it when you can be around to observe and see how it goes. And have multiple feeding and watering stations to avoid potential conflict.

Good luck!
Also have places the chicks can run and hide but still escape from if followed. (My RIRs will occasionally track my chicks until they corner themselves, providing a space tiny enough that the chicks can get into but also a second opening has really helped mine)
I put out branches and other hiding spots for the baby chicks. I bought my chicks from a farm when they were a week old and they lived outside since day one because it was 95 degrees outside. They outran all of my hens and I think it worked better putting them in younger because I put in three month old pullets, My hens were not very kind to them. They were better with the chicks than they were with older pullets.
I would've already started letting them spend some supervised time together, though you know your flock's personalities and your set up best. Make sure there's plenty of hiding spots where chicks can take shelter but not get cornered, as well as multiple feed sources spread out.
Due to extreme temperatures I had to wait longer than I would have liked to integrate some chicks. My next batch will be going outside this weekend at 4 and 5 weeks. I have 2 older chicks outside already that I'm letting out during the day that are 6 weeks.

I agree that chicks seem more acceptable to the flock
Always have a Plan B. Each of my integrations have had a different result. Maybe more experience with chickens and I will figure out cause and effect for problems. All sorts of variables, from crowding to weather, various breeds, cockerel to pullet ratios etc can lead to different results each time. It's good to have hiding spots that are not dead ends. There are also integration techniques all through out these forums and likely in articles too. I personally like having an integration brooder inside of a coop but that's not always feasible to all chicken keepers.

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