Tell me it'll be OK**Update**

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by noodleroo, Jun 29, 2010.

  1. noodleroo

    noodleroo Snuggles with Chickens

    Apr 29, 2010
    Rockport, Tx
    My DH took my 8 wk old chicks in our large dog kennel to put in the coop with the grown hens. Once integrated they will have a wonderful life in the country free ranging during the day and sleeping in a great coop with an automatic door at night. BUT...I'm worried that its too soon and that the young ones will get hurt.

    His plan is to leave the babies in the kennel for a couple of days in the coop, then let them out to free range with the hens for a day. Then, that night, put them on the roost with the hens (so the hens will think they've always been there) and hope for the best. The automatic door opens at daylight and I just hope that they don't get attacked before they can get out.

    Can somebody give me some advice or tell me something to make me feel better? Please?...
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2010
  2. CallyB57

    CallyB57 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 27, 2009
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    Well...I left my smaller chickens - about 8 weeks old - in a separate pen for at least 6 weeks before letting them out with the main flock. The main flock came to the pen every day and would just stare at the newcomers and when they stopped staring and seemed to have their curiosity quenched, I let them out. Didn't have one incident - the smaller birds fit in well. They would run away if they perceived a threat from a bigger bird, but the bigger birds never pursued any kind of confrontation with them. My only suggestion would be that maybe they should be separated longer...a couple of days does not seem long enough.
     
  3. PortageGirl

    PortageGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Your hubbies plan sounds reasonable to me.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2010
  4. noodleroo

    noodleroo Snuggles with Chickens

    Apr 29, 2010
    Rockport, Tx
    That's my concern too, I'm afraid that its not long enough. The alpha hen already has felt the need to assert her position with the baby 'alpha' rooster through the bars of the kennel. One peck and that was it, though. The kennel is just too small to keep 16 chickens in for many days... I'm just not sure what to do; DH thinks they will be fine. He has experience with raising exotic pheasants, not chickens.
     
  5. chickflick

    chickflick Overrun With Chickens

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    I would keep them separted a bit longer...like a few weeks. I let my 8 wk olds free range with the older hens during the day, but still kept them separated in the coop. It's just the thought if a hen gets cranky and tries to take in out on the young ones, they'll have no where to get away in the coop. I have a broody hen, that every time she comes off the nest to eat she chases the smallest pullet around the yard for some odd reason. Hate to think of what would happen stuck in a coop with nowhere to go.
     
  6. BonnieJean

    BonnieJean Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 10, 2010
    Connecticut
    That's a tough decision to make... after the few days, could you let the babies out in the coop when the others are free ranging so they get to know the "lay of the land"- where to find the food, water, etc.? and then keep a close eye on them? I'm a little crazy and put a video baby monitor out there so I could keep an eye on the newbies when I put everyone together- but they were similar ages, so it was a little easier. My thought is that if they are free ranging during the day, they should definitely be okay then, but maybe keep an eye on them early in the morning before the door opens and see how they are doing for a day or two. Good luck!
     
  7. chickflick

    chickflick Overrun With Chickens

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    Also... when I did take the fencing away and let them all loose in the coop, I set up a couple of saw horses for them to roost on. The pullets are finding their way over to the big girls roost slowly. Plus they have a place to go when the big girls chase them off the big girls' roost.
     
  8. noodleroo

    noodleroo Snuggles with Chickens

    Apr 29, 2010
    Rockport, Tx
    I really like the saw horse idea, we can do that too. The babies have been free ranging at my house in the fenced back yard for about 6 wks. They go in their little tractor/coop on their own each night. I think the free ranging with the big girls will be fine - 52 acres on the bay with grass and trees and ponds; a real chicken paradise. I just don't want there to be a problem in the coop and the babies not be able to get away. Its not practical to watch them since they are actually 3 miles from where we live in town. I'm sure it'll all work out but I want all the information I can get - to do all I can to facilitate harmony...
     
  9. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 28, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    I've got younger than that in the coop. I've had broodies with chicks and they seem fine. Sure sometimes things can happen they just haven't happened here yet. Shoot , I got chicks and a little older and they seem ok.
     
  10. medan

    medan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    my hens always pick on new chickens for at least a week make sure they are as big as the established flock before you mingle them
     

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