The baby steps of chick/chicken integration has begun.

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by ramzroost, Dec 1, 2012.

  1. ramzroost

    ramzroost Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 19, 2012
    North Carolina
    I have 9 chicks that are approximately 7 and a half weeks old. For week and a half now they have been outside, housed inside the coop with 2 roos and 4 hens which are almost 7 months. They are, of course, protected because they are inside a large wire dog kennel with their own feed, water etc. Well yesterday, I let them out into the run . Boy were they flapping all over the place.[​IMG] I am sure they loved not being "cooped up". The older chickens didn't bother them for a few minutes. You could tell that my dominant roo was concerned as he kept crowing and pacing. After about ten minutes of them running around the older chickens decided to chase them and peck a little(really only when one of them was farther away than the others). Nothing serious. The chicks ran right into the kennel and wouldnt come back out. That was was the end of that adventure. [​IMG] Today I just opened the cage again and they once again came out and flapped around, investigated, and played. The older ones again ignored them for a bit and then aggravated them and chased them into small corners inside the coop. It was funny and a little frightening to watch. I dont want anyone to get hurt. The chicks all safely made their way back into their cage for safety and I latched it .[​IMG] I'm hoping if I do this a little every day or so that they may start getting used to each other's company. I just think the little guys need some room to run occassionally but they are still only one third to half the size of the older chickens but quickly growing. Soon they wont have much room to run around the cage.[​IMG] My goal is to have them completely out of the cage by 12 weeks or maybe sooner if I can. Any thoughts?
     
  2. TurtlePowerTrav

    TurtlePowerTrav T.K.'s Farm

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    As long as your run is at least 150sq ft(10ft per bird in a run) you should not have too much trouble with the permanent integration. Remember, they will need to sort out the pecking order which is what your older girls were likely doing with the peck and chasing. I put my 9 week old pullets in the big coop with my big flock. They were in the tractor for 4 weeks and then I free ranged them together for a couple of days. Now all together, I have a broody and her 2 chicks in the tractor right now and will be putting them back in the flock next week.
     
  3. ramzroost

    ramzroost Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 19, 2012
    North Carolina
    My run is 20'X 8' (160sq. ft). I also let the larger ones out of the run to free range in the backyard occassionally. So I think we are good there. I thouht about letting my little guys out but was not sure I should until they were a few weeks older. I let my older ones out of the run at 5 months and I had to chase them around to get them back in. LOL. Tioday they went right in, (it didn't hurt to offer them a treat to lure them.) I like the idea of free ranging them togetehr especially since that is netral ground for all. Are they too young to do that. Should I wait a couple of weeks?
     
  4. TurtlePowerTrav

    TurtlePowerTrav T.K.'s Farm

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    Jul 29, 2012
    Oregon City, OR
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    If you want to free range them together, the first day do it about 30 minutes before sunset. Of course be out there with them, and as it gets dark they should coop themselves since they have been in there now for a time and understand it is home. They may go in after the big kids, mine do this. I sometimes have to put them on the roost, they tend to go to a nest.
     
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  5. Sally Sunshine

    Sally Sunshine Cattywampus Angel <straightens Halo> Premium Member

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    Aug 23, 2012
    Pennsylvania
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    I just sent my Halo out to play with the kids other silkies, they had a few picks but amazingly, The Roo kept chirping until Halo and the other two girls followed him in the coop. I didnt stop him, BUT I DID stand and listen for quite sometime after I locked them up tight! Nothing, so I went an hour later and looked in with a flashlight and there was Halo all smushed with the others!!! So much for just trying a little at a time! And I thought Halo was a Roo! maybe I was wrong! lol He seemed fine all day today too but my son had to put him in the coop tonight.
     

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