when can baby chicks go outside with other chickens?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by bellakullander, Apr 1, 2015.

  1. bellakullander

    bellakullander New Egg

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    i have other grown chickens about a year and wanted to know when these chickens can go outside with them
     
  2. AmericanMom

    AmericanMom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I give chicks atleast 3 months before I integrate them into the flock, at 2 -3 weeks chicks are moved from the brooder to the grow out pen, the pen is secure but within the 1/2 acre my adult birds free range so the chicks and adults get used to each other pretty early on and once I open the door to allow the younger flock to free range there isn't an issue (at 2.5 - 3 months), for a couple weeks the bitties will go back to the grow out pen and the adults to the coop at night. after a couple more weeks and no problems I close up the grow out pen and move all the younger ones into the coop (always done at night)
     
  3. bellakullander

    bellakullander New Egg

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    thanks so much, really helpful!
     
  4. AmericanMom

    AmericanMom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Your welcome and good luck!!

    The only time I don't separate chicks from the flock is when they are being raised by a broody hen, those chicks get the honor of being with the flock from the day they hatch [​IMG]
     
  5. ChickenLegs13

    ChickenLegs13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I generally keep 3 main groups of birds similar in size & appearence. i.e. fuzzy chicks with fuzzy chicks, fully feathered teenage birds with their peers, ones about to lay can go to the hen pen. Mainly I do that for the different feed requirements for the different age birds, to prevent bullying and prevent adult birds from damaging the younger birds. Some of my old hens are downright viscious & hateful.
     
  6. AmericanMom

    AmericanMom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My whole flock is on an all purpose feed, 20% protein and layers are given free choice oyster shells on the side. The different feed issue worried me at first until I found out that the All Purpose flock raiser was actually better for the chicks. I haven't bought layer feed or regular chick starter for nearly two years and when I did I didn't use the medicated anyways..
    As for mean hens, I guess I am lucky, I have never had that problem. The main coop is large enough to hold 75 birds and there are three separate feeding stations, they free range during the day and plenty of room to separate into groups.
     
  7. bellakullander

    bellakullander New Egg

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    Thanks everyone for all the help
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Here's some notes I've taken on integration that I found to be very helpful.......
    ......take what applies or might help and ignore the rest.
    See if any of them, or the links provided at the bottom, might offer some tips that will assist you in your situation:

    Integration of new chickens into flock.


    Consider medical quarantine:
    BYC Medical Quarantine Article
    Poultry Biosecurity
    BYC 'medical quarantine' search

    Confine new birds within sight but physically segregated from older/existing birds for several weeks, so they can see and get used to each other but not physically interact. Integrating new birds of equal size works best.

    For smaller chicks I used a large wire dog crate right in the coop for the smallers. I removed the crate door and put up a piece of wire fencing over the opening and bent up one corner just enough for the smallers to fit thru but the biggers could not. Feed and water inside the crate for the smallers. Make sure the smallers know how to get in and out of the crate opening before exposing them to the olders. this worked out great for me, by the time the crate was too small for the them to roost in there(about 3 weeks), they had pretty much integrated themselves to the olders.

    If you have too many smallers to fit in a crate you can partition off part of the coop with a wire wall and make the same openings for smallers escape.


    The more space, the better. Birds will peck to establish dominance, the pecked bird needs space to get away. As long as there's no blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down, let them work it out. Every time you interfere or remove new birds, they'll have to start the pecking order thing all over again.

    Multiple feed/water stations. Dominance issues are most often carried out over sustenance, more stations lessens the frequency of that issue.

    Places for the new birds to hide out of line of sight and/or up and away from any bully birds.

    Read up on integration..... BYC advanced search>titles only>integration
    This is good place to start reading:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/adding-to-your-flock
     
  9. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    I take it, "go outside with them" means moving into the coop with the adults?

    Your chicks appear to be around five to six weeks old. They're ready. But you need to conduct this integration in stages.

    The first stage is to merge the chicks with the adults during the day only. I like to begin this process at age two weeks with short play visits out to a playpen in the run where the chicks are protected from the adults having access to them. Yours are old enough to be spending all day in the playpen, then go back to sleep in their brooder at night. It requires about two weeks for the chicks to be accepted as flock members instead of intruders, so you need to give them time for this process.

    After your chicks have been spending time in the run in a safe pen for almost two weeks, open up pop holes (about 5 x 7) in the pen so they can go explore the main run, but be able to pop back inside the play pen if chased and picked on. It's crucial that the adults can't get into this safe pen, and the chicks also have a safe place to eat and drink.

    After about a week of exploring the main run, you can move the chicks into the coop. This is best done early in the day so the chicks have time to explore their new home and become unafraid of being there. It will be new and scary, so you want to wait until the adult layers are finished laying for the day, then lock them out. A lot of folks put the chicks into the coop at night after dark, but then they wake up in a strange place disoriented. I'm not comfortable with that. I like to let them get acquainted with their new home before they have to deal with the adults.

    At roosting time, I wait until the last minute before it's too dark for the adults to see, and I let them into the coop. They'll roost and probably not bother the babies. But come morning, the babies will be chased out of the coop by the adults and they'll know to run to their safe pen. By now they know the drill.

    But be prepared to have to teach the chicks how to go into the coop at night. This can take less than a week or more than two. It's tedious and time consuming but they'll learn. Every bunch is different and you have to play it by ear. If you have problems, come back and we'll try to help.
     

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