Today's the day, chick mingling!


10 Years
Jun 14, 2009
Southern Oregon
My Coop
My Coop
"Today's the day"! That's what I said yesterday when the sun was out & the timing seemed right. The four broody hatched chicks are 6 wks old (3 pullets/1 roo) & three hatchery chicks are 4 wks old (2 pullets/1 roo). It was finally a warmer day to get them out of brooding areas & outside for real sunlight & warmth. Got a pic of that below. They enjoyed the sun while "Blue" broody hen watched on. It was also her day to permanently rejoin the flock, her chicks are independent now & I want to see her get back into the swing of things to be outside again with the flock.

The chicks got to mingle in the sun for the 1st time when I opened the doors of the little cages into each other. They bonded over eating fresh popcorn, shared the shade when I put a board on one side, drank water & ate chick food together. That bliss went well for about an hour, until one of the older pullets started picking on all & any of the younger ones. Bummer! So back in the separated chick area in the coop with a divider between them so they can socialize for a couple more weeks. The heat lamp is mostly on the younger ones (smaller, but fully feathered & out of their brooder for the 1st time). They all did fine last night & looked happy this morning. Got a pic of that below.

This is Blue's 1st time as a broody & she is a real champ. The broody hen has been reluctant to leave her four chicks in her short walks around the coop this week, but made it through the night with the rest of the flock. I had to put her up on the roost with them last night & was happy to see that by the time I returned from work today, she was finally going outside on her own. Got a pic of that mingling below. On my last visit to the coop tonight, she was on the roost again & calmly looking down at her chicks in their area. The transition has not been easy for her, as there have been several quick supervised fights that she has initiated to protect her chicks, so some hard feelings between the hens are present. Especially when one hen pecked 2 of her chicks by surprise in the beginning, I read that the others can consider chicks (not their own) to be intruders.

Then there's "Buckbeak" rooster who has cleverly broken up the fights & has devised a way to make all of the hens behave. He's brilliant! I call it "rules by Buckbeak"; he ushers every hen that comes into the coop, into a corner by the chicken door where he apparently tells them to bow their heads in that corner, I once saw 3 hens doing it. Got a pic of that below. So happy to have him keep the peace in the flock.

Wow! This has been a beautiful experience for me & the flock, watching the broody with hatching & rearing, then watching the flock's interactions. It's way more fun than all of the incubating that I've done. Will give this broody hatching another go next year if one of my girls is willing to go broody again. Best wishes.
broody,her chicks, grange chicks sunning.jpg
2018 chicks mingling brood & grange chicks.jpg
BLUE broody mingling.jpg
rules by Buckbeak.jpg
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Hello. I put my Momma out with the Flock when the Chicks are 5 days old. Momma will protect the Chicks and the intragration is easy. My Rooster protects the Chicks also.
Good luck...
Hello to you there in Canada & yes, "chickens really" yours is an easy plan. How nice to have that all go smooth, your instincts are working well. Thank you.

The integration issues are a little different here with the way my 6x8 coop is intentionally designed, after regular designs of 2 prior coops. The flock does very well together, but the new broody situation needed a little navigating (won't be having new chicks much, just for refreshing layers thru the years). The broody is now doing well in the flock after 2 days of newness, she's calm & content to come in & see the chicks thru the wire now & then.

When the chicks were first up & walking around, they were being attacked by other jealous hen/s & the broody had to defend too much, so I had to seperate the broody & chicks to keep them safe. The nest boxes & feed are all on the same level with them & it was conflicting with the layers, but there is a large area under the sand trays on the left set up for the chicks. Also, it's too wet outside right now in the run for the chicks to go out with the broody & the chicks are not old/strong enough to get to the higher level inside & get out the chicken coop door, then fly up to the door from the outside. When they are strong enough to do all that, the weather should be warmer & dryer, that's how it's been planned. The higher door has been designed for the flock to fly up to from the outside, to keep critters out of the coop, all of the feed (except daily wet veggies, etc.) is clean in the coop (no more critter robbing). Best wishes.
How many adult birds in your main flock?
Have 12 (including the rooster). They all do well & there's still plenty of room on the roosts & floor space with the double areas of sand tray & the floor. But with temporarily raising the feathered out chicks on 1/3 of the floor under sand tray has cramped things somewhat from what they are all used to (still plenty of space though). I could see these 5 pullet chicks fitting in comfortably & possibly considering (we'll see) 2 more pullets next year to limit out. No more roos though, so the 2 roo chicks will be rehomed, I have an excellent one already. How are chickens doing for you in Michigan? Best wishes.

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