Transferring to coop, use dog crate?

Ceakmama

Songster
May 2, 2021
113
255
136
Alaska
My chicks are 4 weeks old and outgrowing their current brooder in the garage. I'm considering weaning off the heat lamp in the next 1-2 weeks and putting them in my coop. I have a small wire dog crate and I'm thinking of placing it in the coop to separate the baby chicks from my 23 week old pullets. All of my pullets are egg laying, so I can't close them out of the coop (they lay throughout the day). Is it safe to put the chicks in the coop full time, separated in the crate? I'll put their food and water in the crate with them. The pullets have their food and water in the enclosed run.

I live in Alaska, so I'd like to get the chicks in the coop before the temperature starts dropping too much. It's still in the high 60's during the day.
 

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Ryguy3684

Here comes the Rooster
Premium Feather Member
May 29, 2020
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Fauquier County, Virginia, United States.
I always integrate new chicks that way. I have a section of my run that's separated by hardware cloth. The see, but not touch, approach is a popular method here. After a couple weeks, you can let them out together, and keep an eye on them for a bit. I normally do that for for few days. There's going to be some pecking by the older pullets, but it's fine as long as it's not excessive. Once you integrate them, put some hiding spots, where the chicks can escape from the pullets, if need be. Good luck.
 

Ceakmama

Songster
May 2, 2021
113
255
136
Alaska
I always integrate new chicks that way. I have a section of my run that's separated by hardware cloth. The see, but not touch, approach is a popular method here. After a couple weeks, you can let them out together, and keep an eye on them for a bit. I normally do that for for few days. There's going to be some pecking by the older pullets, but it's fine as long as it's not excessive. Once you integrate them, put some hiding spots, where the chicks can escape from the pullets, if need be. Good luck.
Thanks! I hope the pullets don't freak out too much. Thankfully, I don't have any cockerels to worry about anymore! Maybe I'll put the crate in empty for a few days before adding the chicks, so it isn't a big adjustment for the current coop ladies.
 

Ceakmama

Songster
May 2, 2021
113
255
136
Alaska
Update: 1st day in the coop! Pic is a little blurry. My older pullets are annoyed, but doing alright. I put the crate in a corner so the chicks would be able to avoid pecks.
 

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Lizzy733

Crowing
Nov 13, 2018
1,026
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New Zealand
Better to put them in a high-traffic area where they're in constant sight of the big girls. I've done both and had better success with them being set up outside the coop near the feed and water stations.

Just make sure they have adequate space, shade and shelter available in there. Pet pens are really good for this - especially the panel ones, as you can expand them out to what suits. (As long as the babies aren't so tiny they can squeeze through the bars) You just need a reliable way to 'top' them so big girls can't jump in. I attached plywood to the top of a 6 panel last time and it worked a treat, gave them 1200x600 space to run about and added a cave-style shelter to the back with nesting material.

They got to spend all day around the big girls and were integrated at 3 weeks old (they were with a broody tho), but the flock were much nicer to them than the coop raised bunch who also integrated later.
 

Ceakmama

Songster
May 2, 2021
113
255
136
Alaska
Better to put them in a high-traffic area where they're in constant sight of the big girls. I've done both and had better success with them being set up outside the coop near the feed and water stations.

Just make sure they have adequate space, shade and shelter available in there. Pet pens are really good for this - especially the panel ones, as you can expand them out to what suits. (As long as the babies aren't so tiny they can squeeze through the bars) You just need a reliable way to 'top' them so big girls can't jump in. I attached plywood to the top of a 6 panel last time and it worked a treat, gave them 1200x600 space to run about and added a cave-style shelter to the back with nesting material.

They got to spend all day around the big girls and were integrated at 3 weeks old (they were with a broody tho), but the flock were much nicer to them than the coop raised bunch who also integrated later.
They've been out in the coop for about 2 weeks now. I'd say the coop is high traffic, since the hens are going in and out throughout the day. They're almost 7 weeks old now, so I'm thinking of letting them out of the crate next week.
 

Lizzy733

Crowing
Nov 13, 2018
1,026
1,846
251
New Zealand
They've been out in the coop for about 2 weeks now. I'd say the coop is high traffic, since the hens are going in and out throughout the day. They're almost 7 weeks old now, so I'm thinking of letting them out of the crate next week.
My coop is raised and the hens pretty much only go in to lay during the day as they have shelter underneath for bad weather :)

If your girls are in and out all day or if that's where their food is, it's probably just as good.
 

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