When can I introduce the chickies to my flock of grown ladies?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by tweet tweet, Mar 9, 2012.

  1. tweet tweet

    tweet tweet New Egg

    1
    0
    7
    Mar 9, 2012
    I'm new here, and could use a little advice. A year ago, we inherited from friend who was moving a flock of lovely laying hens. We have a great coop (with two rooms) and inclosed run. Since we went straight to hens, I never learned about raising chicks. In the near future, I'm planning on getting about 6 more chicks to add to the family. My plan is to use the second room (which is like a mud/storage room) to keep the chicks safe and cozy. Can you tell me how I would go about introducing them into the larger flock, and at about what age? Thank you so much for your help!!
     
  2. Silkie Chick

    Silkie Chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    We introduced ours at five weeks, but they were not completely together until week seven or so.
     
  3. vjbakke

    vjbakke Chillin' With My Peeps

    529
    0
    129
    Mar 21, 2011
    MN
    We will be doing this this year as well I have read that you want to do it when they are about the same size, so depending on the breed by 12-16 weeks old or so. IMO 5-7 weeks old they would not be large enough to stand up to the harassment they may get from the older hens. We plan on fencing in a separate area in the run so the girls can look but not touch til they are old enough. I hope it goes well for you.
     
  4. Silkie Chick

    Silkie Chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Maybe it was due to the fact that we have many sizes of chickens (all the way down to OEG bantams) so maybe for ours they didn't mind too much, because they are used to very small birdies. I don't know... It just worked for us.
     
  5. felidaet

    felidaet Chillin' With My Peeps

    987
    7
    141
    Dec 10, 2008
    Vancouver, Wa.
    I have all large size birds. I went through this exercise two years ago and was very successful. I will be doing it again this year.

    I am fortunate to have two coops. They share one covered run. I divided the run in half with chicken wire. This i one of the few places where chicken wire is fine to use. The older birds were placed on one side with access to one coop. The new flock was placed in the other half with access to the second coop. The new birds started using their half of the run when they were about 8 weeks old. The older birds and younger ones were able to see each other all day. I kept the fence up until the younger birds were about 16 weeks old. When I took it down all of the birds stayed in their own area or a couple of hours. Then they finally started crossing into the other area. The birds all got along great. There was very little pecking at each other.

    Interesting that today, almost 2 years latter, most of the birds still go back into the coop they were raised in to sleep at night. They all go in and out of both coops during the day.

    I am expecting some problems this year when I close down one of the coops for this years new birds. More than half of the birds will not be used to sleeping in the one coop. It might be a bit of a challange to get them retrained to sleep in the other coop.
     
  6. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    39,820
    1,299
    516
    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    The best chances, especially for the first time integrating is when they are roughly the same size. (12-13 weeks) If you can give them a couple weeks where they can see each other (like splitting the coop in half) but not touch each other, it goes more smoothly.

    I have integrated at 7-8 weeks and it is possible BUT you need lots of space. (my run in that coop is 30 feet by 50 feet) And my hens are used to integrations as I hatch every year.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2012

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by