when can they join the flock?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by blueberrychickens, Mar 23, 2012.

  1. blueberrychickens

    blueberrychickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    834
    4
    151
    May 12, 2010
    Hudson, MA
    I have 2 1 month old ameraucana's. They have been able to spend time outside this week since the weather has been so nice, but they are in a separate area of the run & have no interaction w/ the big girls. They can see each other, just not interact. I bring the babies back into the house at night. The babies would much rather be outside than in a rubbermaid bin. At what age can they go live safely with the big girls? I did hold the babies to show the big girls the chicks & one of my EE's came right over & pecked one on the head.(eeeks!!)
    Also, the weather is going to return to more seasonable temps this weekend/next week. Back into the 50's-60's, would it be ok for the babies to go out in those temps for the day?
     
  2. blueberrychickens

    blueberrychickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    834
    4
    151
    May 12, 2010
    Hudson, MA
    anyone???
     
  3. jeepguy982001

    jeepguy982001 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,138
    17
    138
    Oct 4, 2011
    athens, wv
    i wait till there about the same size.
     
  4. nickie

    nickie Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,118
    25
    143
    Jun 25, 2011
    north central KY
    Hi, blueberries, nice to see you again... I thought you had more than 2 hatch, but my memory could be wrong. We did the hatch together, BTW.

    Anywho, my bunch will be out full time as soon as the late bloomers are fully feathered. I'm guessing another week or two.
     
  5. blueberrychickens

    blueberrychickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    834
    4
    151
    May 12, 2010
    Hudson, MA
    Hi Nickie, yes I did have more than 2 hatch, I ended up w/ 11, I sold 9 & kept 2.
    They have been loving the whole outside adventure & they cry when I have to bring them in. But the nice weather ends this weekend, temps return to the 40's & 50's (60 if we get lucky) next week.
    My plan was to have a baby grow out coop in place by now, but the hubby has hurt his back & now I'm screwed w/ no grow out coop. I also have 25 eggs in the bator due to hatch next Fri/Sat!! I'm gonna have chickens comming out of my ears!! I needed this grow out coop in a big big way & now I have nothing. I might have to build it myself & that scares the life out of me.
     
  6. nickie

    nickie Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,118
    25
    143
    Jun 25, 2011
    north central KY
    I bet you could build it yourself... Impress the heck out of both of you. Don't make it too elaborate, just basics and you'll do fine.

    Funny, I was just thinking to myself I was going to have to build something for my 17 before my turkeys arrive next week. I have some building experience though, since I built my coop (I didn't use the circular saw, no one wants me using that. My husband made all of my cuts for me and put my roof on for the same reason no one wants me using a saw). Good luck.
     
  7. blueberrychickens

    blueberrychickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    834
    4
    151
    May 12, 2010
    Hudson, MA
    Thanks, I just want a very simple 4x4 coop. It doesn't need a nest box so it would basically be a box w/ ventilation & a couple doors. I just tend to way over think things & then that ups the anxiety & panic sets in.....viscious cycle!!!
    he's a OCD perfectionist & that doesn't help either.(but I do love him to death, he did an awesome job on the 1st coop) Mine would just suffer by comparison.
    We'll see how the weekend goes, it's supposed to rain, so there would be no building going on anyways.
     
  8. felidaet

    felidaet Chillin' With My Peeps

    987
    7
    141
    Dec 10, 2008
    Vancouver, Wa.
    Back to the question of how old before putting the new birds in with the older ones. I keep them in runs side by side until the younger birds are almost the same size as the older birds. Seeing each other like this for several weeks makes integration very smooth.
     
  9. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

    10,533
    3,757
    461
    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    It's a shame you sold all but two chicks from your hatch of a month ago. I've discovered that the ideal "unit" is four chicks. Even three chicks have a tough time holding their own in the pecking order. Two are going to have a tough time of it.

    However, that said, you can overcome this problem by rigging up some kind of "panic room" so the two chicks have a place to run into for safety when chased or bullied. I've had wonderful success integrating four-week olds in this manner.

    You can do it yourself. Pick a corner of the run and put up two walls of poultry mesh. Begin at four weeks of age by placing the two chicks inside this enclosure during the day, bringing them back to their brooder at night. If you already have a separate enclosure, just continue to use that. After a week or so, cut small openings into the two inner walls of the panic room or your parallel run. It's critical they be just large enough for the chicks to go through, not the older chickens. Make sure this enclosure is large enough to hold their food and water so the big chickens can't stick their heads in and eat all the food.

    As for moving the two chicks into the coop, I do that at age six weeks. I install the chicks in the coop after all the hens have finished laying for the day. I close off the coop, giving the chicks the safety to "move in" and feel at home. Only permit the adults to enter at the last minute before dark so they will be more intent on roosting than harassing the newcomers.

    I hope your coop has more than one pop hole. This will give the small fry an alternate means of going in and out of the coop if bullied. Once they are out of the coop, they will have learned to run into their panic room for safety and food and water. I usually supervise roosting until the chicks are the same size as the others. I encourage the chicks to roost at the far end of the perch, away from the adults if possible. Sometimes it's necessary to erect a partition on the perch so the adults won't peck or knock the babies off. I just use a plastic tote lid with a slot cut into the middle and slipped over the perch. I place it where I can use a perch support to secure the lid in an upright position.

    The concept of the panic room solves the biggest problem you'll have - the chicks being prevented from getting enough food due to bullying. It's mazing how quickly they adapt to learning to scoot into the panic room when chased. By the time, they can no longer fit through their small pop holes into the panic room, they will be big enough to hold their own in the pecking order.
     
  10. blueberrychickens

    blueberrychickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    834
    4
    151
    May 12, 2010
    Hudson, MA
    Thank you Azygous, that is great info. I will have to give that a try.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by