When can babies live with hens?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by jrabbit, Apr 6, 2009.

  1. jrabbit

    jrabbit Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 26, 2009
    We have 7 chicks, about 5 weeks old, we guess ~ and 2 hens, about 4-5 months old.

    We live in Houston, and except for tonight, the weather isn't too cold for them. The chicks are living in a small-but-adequate cage in our garage right now. It was outside until last night's cold snap.

    The chicken coop is fully enclosed and the chicks can't get out of it. It's big enough (we think) for 4-6 adult chickens.

    http://philhyde.smugmug.com/gallery/6630139_t9J2s#492105147_GpQLs

    The chicks spend most days inside of the coop - and the hens free-range in the yard. We would like to integrate them so that the chicks can get more freedom. I'm not sure when I'll trust them to free-range, so mostly, we just wonder when can they all live together? The chicks are eating baby-chick-food and the hens are eating something for laying + oyster shells. I suppose that could be a problem, too ...

    We had a 3rd chicken til he grew up into a rooster and had to go live at a farm ... he's happy there now ...

    --janis
     
  2. joy

    joy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 17, 2007
    Lancashire England
    I would wait until they were roughly the same size as the larger hens.
     
  3. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap Premium Member

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Up to 8 week in the house with the brooder and heat lamp
    At 8 weeks, we move them into this brooder outside with the heat lamp

    [​IMG]

    We leave them in there until they are fully feathered. You can see it is right next to the roost (to the left), so the chicks are visible to the other birds but seperated to avoid injury. They are usually in there to about 12 weeks.

    To the left of the brooder, we cut a small opening in the wire and open it during the day, so the chicks can get in and out but the bigger birds won't fit in - a safety net so to speak. We keep that open for 4 weeks, then put them in the flock. There is the normal pecking order business but we have not ever had an injured bird following this method.

    Good luck!!!!
     
  4. Foxhound lady

    Foxhound lady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 9, 2008
    TX baby!
    Mine lived in seprate groups for about 2 weeks and then one day bam they were hanging out together.

    Mined you they live in seperate pens, with roost at the same levels and can see each other even when seprated.

    When they were younger they had a safety hole big enough for them and smaller then the smallest big bird (before the other coop).
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2009

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