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When can I put my babies in the coop with the others?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by SAM1646, Nov 13, 2010.

  1. SAM1646

    SAM1646 In the Brooder

    Aug 21, 2010
    Washington Twp, Mi
    I have 2 leghorns and 2 barred rock that are 12 weeks old. They are still in the brooder but its getting pretty cramped. In the big coop I have 3 RIR 7 silkies.
    The babies are fully feathered and the temp is down to 65 degrees. We live in Michigan so its going to get cold soon, having a indian summer right now. I have a covered run and heated Coop. Can I added them in the coop or are they still to small to add to the flock and they will be pecked to death. I just do not want to invest in a x pen for such a short period of time and the brooder is starting to smell in the garage.

    Help Please.

  2. Judy

    Judy Crowing Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
  3. kerriliane

    kerriliane Songster

    Sep 19, 2010
    Langley, BC, Canada
    I had 7-8 week olds in with my 35 adults. no problems at all..
  4. Zanna

    Zanna Songster

    Oct 14, 2010
    Jefferson, Oregon
    I have a large coop and my chickens free range 10 acres all daylight hours and are locked in at night. I have raised several batches of babies. They stay in the brooder till fully feathered, 4-6 weeks. Then I divide the back half of my coop and put the babies out there so that the main flock (50 hens, 2 Roos, varying ages, oldest 1 1/2 years) can see them but have no access to them. The division is made up of heavy deer netting, the type you put around a garden. After 2-3 weeks I open the divider just high enough and small enough for the babies to come out if they are brave enough to do so but can scoot back in if being hassled. I leave it that way for another week. (Even though it is not open very much one of the grown hens gets in on occasion but has not caused a problem). Then I open it up and they all seem to work it out (they are usually 7-8 weeks old at this point and just beginning to roost rather than sleep in a pile on the ground). This has been very successfull for me so far [​IMG] Hope this helps!
  5. 2many2count

    2many2count Songster

    Oct 23, 2010
    We put our new chicks in when ready but I do have to say with guineas in the pen there wasnt much if any pecking going on. I have to add I did put extra things in the pen for the others to peck on to keep minds off the new kids in the pen. They love those suet blocks from the store (over sized suet block) and I put straw from out of barn out there for them to pick thru...I needed place to go with it and gthey say chickens help compost it better so threw scratch in it they had plenty of pecking to do besides on the new kids.
  6. SAM1646

    SAM1646 In the Brooder

    Aug 21, 2010
    Washington Twp, Mi
    I put the babies in with the older ones today. No problems so far. Thanks for the advise. Just checked on them a minute ago and the newbes are on the top roost and the others on the bottom no pecking at this point.

    Thanks Again for the advice.
  7. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Zanna has the right approach to merging youngsters with older chickens.

    I've successfully merged several batches, also, using the "panic room" approach. I just fence off a small corner of the outdoor pen similar to what Zanna describes. After a couple of weeks spending their days in the juvenile pen, I cut small openings into it and let them start exploring the bigger pen. They quickly learn to run back into their little pen when chased or pecked. It's important to have this safe space for their food also, or else they might not get enough to eat since the older chickens tend to chase them away from the feeders.

    When they move into the coop, what you do depends on your set-up. If it's not possible to fence off a safe section for them, preferably with its own entrance, then you can try slipping them into the coop to roost ahead of the others. Usually at roosting time, the other chickens are mostly focused on roosting, not picking on babies, and this technique often works quite well.

    What I do is on the big moving-in day, I close the coop up after everyone is done laying. Then I move the babies in at least two hours ahead of roosting time. They get to become familiar with their new digs, and will instinctively roost when the light dims. Then at the last possible moment, I let the others into the coop to roost for the night. This is important. If you let them in too soon, there's enough light left for them to contemplate mischief, and the babies might lose their nerve and panic. It can be a tense moment for you until you see they're all safely roosted.

    I appear early outside the coop the next morning to supervise the babies' exit. They may need encouragement to come out of the coop. Sometimes the others will chase them out, and your work will have been done for you. But I've found it takes a few weeks of my teaching the babies how to go in and come out of the coop before they get the hang of it.

    Other people just wait until the babies reach full size before integrating them, and save themselves a lot of work refereeing. So if you're anxious to get them integrated now, this is what I've found to be successful.

  8. secuono

    secuono Songster

    May 29, 2010
    This past week, I've been letting out 3 chicks at a time to play with the adults with me watching for any too aggressive pecks.
    After a few days, I added another water and feeder and left them. They were fine and still are. Six 7 week olds with 2 Silkies and 6 Japs.
    Today, I let out 4 Dutch, or maybe they are standards...idk. They had all their feathers, so I tossed them out today. Hope they are fine tonight! I have 9 more chicks to grow out a bit then introduce.

    They were in a crate in the coop for several days before I started letting a select few out with the adults.
    Each bird is different, so just keep an eye out on them.

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