When can I let the babies sleep with the big girls?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by hannahenriquez, Nov 15, 2016.

  1. hannahenriquez

    hannahenriquez Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 31, 2016
    I have 8 full grown hens and 2 babies about 8 weeks old. We have done introductions and they are all great together when they are out free ranging during the day in our yard (fully fenced and safe for the babies). We haven't had any pecking on the littles and nobody seems to pay any attention to them. I still bring them inside to sleep because I would hate to have anything happen overnight. I am kinda done having chickens in my house though. When and how should I start having them sleep out with the big girls??
  2. Maeschak

    Maeschak Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 29, 2016
    Maryland, USA
    I would go for it now... most likely the only problem will be the re-arrangement of roosting places. (But the older ladies will probably show the little ones where they CANNOT roost pretty quickly!)
  3. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

    Apr 17, 2015
    Long Beach, WA
    If they are pretty much fully integrated into the flock already, go ahead and let them coop up with the bigs.
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Have the chicks been in the coop at all yet?
    Are the chicks sharing feed/water with the older birds?

    Space and food/water are the biggest 'bones of contention' when integrating birds.
  5. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

    Feb 25, 2014
    Northwestern Wyoming
    My Coop
    Every time you bring the Littles in the house, you are, in effect, having to reintroduce them the next morning. That's now what they and the adult birds are accustomed to and they may not like it when that changes. However, it's never going to change permanently if the same routine is followed. I'd get them out and keep them out. They need to find their places on the roosts, in the coop, and unless you live down under the weather conditions aren't going to improve much over the next few months. Acclimating them to outside temps 24/7 is critical and they can't do that if they are in and out.

    Good luck!
    1 person likes this.
  6. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

    Nov 7, 2012
    What she said. Tough love.
  7. hannahenriquez

    hannahenriquez Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 31, 2016
    Ok, I let them sleep with the bigs tonight BUT because I'm scared (they are so little- I forgot to mention they are bantams and the rest of the flock are standard) I put them in a crate inside the coop so they can be seen/heard and be a part of things but I don't have to worry about them getting pecked to death while I sleep. I don't even want to think how that would go over when the kids let them out in the morning. Yikes
  8. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Flock Master Premium Member

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    They aren't going to get pecked to death in the night. Once they're all settled on the roosts, chickens are basically inactive at night. They roost and don't move.

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