When can the new chicks join the flock?


10 Years
Apr 26, 2009
North Berwick Maine
Need advice....I have two nearly 5 week old girls that I think are ready to move outside. They are pretty well feathered and the weather for the next week should be in the 70's and 80's. I'm planning on putting them in a cage in the yard so the other free rangers can check them out for a few days and at night moing the cage to the run for some extra security. I'll lock the big girls up in the coop at night as usual. The coop isn't big enough for the cage too. Sound like a plan? How long to do this before letting them go to the coop at night? There is still quite a size difference between the 5 weekers and one year olds...
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In the Brooder
10 Years
Aug 5, 2009
Everson, WA
Hi Kristen:) Keeping your younger chicks in a separate cage like you're doing is a wise idea. You are right, there is a notable size difference between the ages! I have eight nearly three month olds that I let out to roam the chicken yard while the four older hens and rooster are out free-ranging. Both flocks are able to see each other, yet the youngsters have the added security of the chickenwire fencing to keep them from any harm. So far, there have just been staring contests (and clucking behind wings to each other) but no attempts by the big girls to peck.

When your same question was burning in my mind a few weeks back, I found this page by one of our BYC members to be very imformative. I think you will too! https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=2593-adding-to-your-flock I am going to wait until the end of June when my RIR youngsters will be 16 weeks old--another month will give them just that much more time to grow, and then I will let them out to free-range with the older chickens.

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