Trying to Integrate 10wk old chicks with 10mo old hens

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Chicky Joy, Oct 31, 2008.

  1. Chicky Joy

    Chicky Joy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 22, 2008
    Well my nieces who are experienced little chicken handlers helped me move my chicks out of the chicken tractor and into a large wire rabbit cage. My sister-in-law and I carried the cage into the big chicken coop. I'm going to try and keep the little ones in the cage for about three days before I let them mingle with the older hens.

    It goes without saying that my chicken coop is full of drama today. The little ones don't know what's going on and the big ones are squawking all around the place.

    They've been in there for a few hours now. I'm thinking I'll let them out Sunday afternoon or Monday morning. I want to be able to supervise them for a while and I have to work all day Monday.
  2. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap Premium Member

    Here's what we did:

    4 weeks in the house
    4-6 weeks in a brooder in the hen house (Now called the Lorrah County Jail for Broodies)
    6-8 weeks made a hole in the brooder so they could get in and out but the bigger birds couldn't get in
    8 weeks pushed them out of the brooder, closed the hole and called it home.

    We have had NO problems at all. They all get along just fine. It was a miracle!!!
  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Some will say 10 week old with 10 month old isn't the best. Size is too different, and the feed is also a different type. I personally wait till at least 16 weeks before they share sleeping quarters.
  4. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    Generally integrating younger chicks with older pullets/hens goes much better if you wait until they are the same size.

    Some people have had it work out just fine when adding them together before that but many have not.

    It's great that you will be there to watch them, you will want to keep a very close eye on everybody for a few days to see that no one is being mercilessly picked on.

    Good luck.

    Edited to add that I totally agree with Silkiechicken.
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2008
  5. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap Premium Member

    Like I have said many times, I have Stepford chickens. They are very orderly, quiet, friendly, funny, good friends to each other. I am not sure how we got so lucky with these birds, but they are ALL keepers.
  6. Chicky Joy

    Chicky Joy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 22, 2008
    Well, they all getting along great. The've been doing quite well for a long time now. I was a bit surprised at how quickly they learned to get along with each other. Not too bad for our first integration.
  7. the1much

    the1much Currently Birdless Hippy

    at 3 months,, if i have more then 5 that age at once, i throw em in with my big birds, i have found if you do it with just 1 or 2 young birds, they have a harder time, but 5 seems to work great for me, and i dont have any problems with them. i feed mine different then others, at 2 months mine are eating my adult food mix, with just a little bit of starter.
    i also have 2 hens and a roo in with the babies from 1 month old on till they get sold, or moved.i think my "baby sitters" make my moves alot easier.
  8. Cetawin

    Cetawin Chicken Beader

    Mar 20, 2008
    NW Kentucky
    I would not recommend putting the 10 week olds out with the big girls after just three days and here is my reason

    They are not the same size and certainly not bbig enough to fend off the bigger girls.

    Personal experience...

    My coop is literally split in half with a wood frame and chicken wire which separates my 19 week olds on one side and the 37 & 25 week olds on the other side. They have been that way since the coop was finished in September.

    I have tried several times to let them mingle with hopes of taking the wall down and building more roosts and so forth. No go.

    The size difference is just too much and my poor little Roo went head to head with one of my big BAs and I had to step in, three others were being chased and pecked repeatedly so I separated them again. So, until they are the same size I would not do it.

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