Separate 8 week old chicks from flock?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by snkjohnson, Oct 21, 2019.

  1. snkjohnson

    snkjohnson Chirping

    Jul 10, 2013
    Is it really necessary to keep new chicks quarantined for a while when integrating them into an established flock? I have four 5 week old chicks and three 4 week old chicks, and then an established flock of eight 9 month old chickens. Chicks are still in the brooder but will need to go to the coop soon. I don't have a very convenient way of creating a barrier within the coop, and it's getting cold here in Northern Utah so I can't keep them separated outside in the run all the time either.

    Has anyone had luck with just putting younger chickens in with an established flock with no separation, or is that asking for trouble?
  2. azygous

    azygous Crossing the Road

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    I describe my experiences brooding and integrating baby chicks here. It's a far more thorough explanation of how I integrate chicks, but I'll give you the short version here.

    No, there's no really safe way to integrate young chicks without an enclosure for them, especially into a group of full-size juveniles, typically bullies to smaller chicks by inclination.

    The best way, and it can be temporary, is to erect what I call a panic room in the middle of the run. It needs to be large enough to accommodate all the chicks, who should be integrated with one another first. Food and water go into this enclosure so the full-size juveniles won't pester the chicks away from these essentials.

    What makes the panic room so valuable and safe are the chick-size openings (more than just one) you will have on this enclosure so the big gals can't get inside. After a week in the enclosure, chicks will have gotten to know the different temperaments of the older chickens and can safely mingle with them. They will quickly scoot back into their panic room if they feel stressed or threatened. This pen lasts until the chicks are around ten weeks old. After that, I take it down and put up a card table in the run with their food on it so they can eat above the fray.

    All your chicks should be weaned off day time heat by now, including the four-week olds. This is crucial to acclimatize them to cooler temps before they go outside. Then they can begin with gradually increasingly longer day trips. The four week-olds shouldn't need heat at night after another week, and can then be moved into the coop after all the chicks have adjusted to the older chickens. A bit of heat may be necessary at night if the temps fall below freezing, but they should quickly adjust to no heat after a week.

    The most difficult aspect is to teach the chicks to go into the coop at night once they begin to sleep out there. But by teaching them to go in at dusk, they quickly learn to do it on their own.
    chrissynemetz likes this.

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