When can I put them with the big ones?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by peeps7, Nov 23, 2007.

  1. peeps7

    peeps7 Songster

    Aug 26, 2007
    North Carolina
    I have 18 8week old chicks and I was just wondering if I could put them with the big chickens. Most of them are standard cochins and I know they're big enough (they're huge) but I'm worried about the bantams and the silkies. What should I do?
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    You'll want to wait till they are bout 16 weeks old before you stick them together. Especially if you have a rooster. Don't want to get the little ones hurt. And, for bantams, keep an eye on them because you don't want them trampled.
  3. Hotwings

    Hotwings Songster

    Jan 27, 2007
    southwestern Michigan
    you could house the new birds in a cage in the coop so the others can get used to them. Remember you are bound to have some issues even if you get them aquainted after awhile. They have to establish a pecking order.
  4. peeps7

    peeps7 Songster

    Aug 26, 2007
    North Carolina
    They aren't new birds, I've had them in a brooder pen inside the chicken coop for 5 weeks(they are 9 weeks). THEY ARE GETTING WAAAAAAAAAAY TO BIG FOR THEIR BROODER BOX!!! I don't know what to do, guess I'll have to get something bigger.[​IMG]
  5. jenichick

    jenichick Songster

    Jun 1, 2007
    I'm having this same delima. I have 6 standards and 15 bantams that are in my shop that have outgrown their brooder. I put some in a dog crate until they're old enough to move out with the others.
  6. chickenjohn

    chickenjohn In the Brooder

    Nov 13, 2007
    Mcdonough, GA
    I say put them in together. Here is what I did. At four weeks I put the chickens in the same pin just separated off. When the younger chickens got to six weeks old I desegregated them right before dark. A couple of hours later and they were just fine. No major problems. I have 5 older buff orpingtons and 10 GLW everything when very smooth.
  7. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    You were lucky, chickenjohn. I would advise not to even try it unless you can stay there to supervise. I had a friend who had to put her eight week olds in with the adults and one was actually killed by the older hens. It helps if they are fairly close to the same size and some will be more aggressive than others to younger birds.
  8. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Yeah, some might have to be more careful when integrating young and old, especially when they are in a cooped situation. Personally, I let chicks as young as 3 weeks old free range with adults in the summer unsupervised, but they have plenty of area to keep out of each others way so nobody gets hurt. Error on the side of caution if you aren't sure about how the little ones will hold up.
  9. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    I did allow my broody to take her two chicks among the group, but they did have a built-in bodyguard, LOL. As silkie says, then need room to get away from the others. Cooped up together, it could get rough.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: