When, How Difficult to add chicks to group...

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Lesa, Feb 21, 2009.

  1. Lesa

    Lesa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 28, 2008
    Upstate NY
    I currently have 24 RIR, nearly a year old. They really have worked out wonderfully and I again thank you all for your wisdom. Never would I have tried chickens without the help of this forum. I would like to add some different kinds of chickens to the flock. I am particularly enamored with EE's. Love the idea of colored eggs- can't help myself! I understand that chicks have to be kept apart from the flock -both because of age and quarantine issues. My question is -when can they be combined in the same coop? I will have to add on to accomplish this and I thought I would build the new section and not take down the wall between the two parts of the coop until they were ready to mingle. Does this sound doable?
     
  2. Judymae

    Judymae Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 22, 2007
    Merit, Tx
    That's pretty much how I do it. I have two coops that are connected by a wall. The chickens can get on the roosting poles or nesting boxes and look over at each other. Once the younger chickens have totally feathered out and are eating the same food as the older chickens I let them all out in the yard together. For awhile they go back to their original coops to roost at nite but eventually they all find each other and will roost together. My only advice with combining chickens is to do it slowly and watch for aggression. There is always the "top" chicken which will be meaner to the others but you don't want any cannibalism!!!
     
  3. Lesa

    Lesa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 28, 2008
    Upstate NY
    That sounds good- the food is an interesting point. Since I give my layers, layer pellets, does that mean the chicks don't get officially combined until they are of laying age? Thanks for the input!
     
  4. Judymae

    Judymae Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 22, 2007
    Merit, Tx
    You don't want the babies to get layer pellets at all until they are (i believe) 16 weeks old. I know that you can give the babies layer pellets before they lay to get them ready. I'm hoping I'm giving you the right age....

    The feed change is usually when I bring my younger ones over. But I make sure to watch them when I introduce them. In the past I've had the older ones kill my babies. So I'm real cautious. If you can't watch them for a day or two (pretty closely) then just have them together for a few hours each day until you are sure they will adapt to each other. Some people say to put your new ones in the coop at nite when they are roosting....the first time I did that my older chickens refused to get on their roosting pole.....they were on the ground squacking and carrying on like they had a wild creature in their coop!!!! Chickens can be sooo strange!
     

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