When to combine chicks with adult hens

junkman56

Songster
Sep 7, 2016
561
655
207
Northwestern PA. ( Tionesta )
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hello, I have had my chicks out in the (coop / run) where the older hens are ( but separated by fencing ), for almost a week now. Yesterday I looked out and seen the chicks on the hens side of the fence, how long they where there I couldn't tell you, I got them back to their side of the coop and made repairs to the fence so they can't get over again, I don't know if the hens noticed the chicks on their side or not. there was (no injuries),
I would like to get them all together as soon as possible, I was thinking on making the move at around 8 weeks old, they will be 5 weeks on Monday, or should I make the move sooner ?
how did you make the transfer?
thanks in advance.
 

SunHwaKwon

Crowing
Jul 19, 2015
5,605
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407
Coastal Bend, TX
Mine start interesting by week 2-3. I let them have somewhere separate to sleep until somewhere around 6-8 weeks (whenever I need the room back) but they stay integrated during the day. Out of 100s of chicks, I've only lost 4 or 5 and most of those were because of the guineas. The only time I'd advise against early integration is if you have a broody with chicks already in the flock, in which case some will kill chicks that aren't theirs.
 

Chickens4Life101

Songster
Apr 30, 2018
176
243
121
We had them integrate at around 6 weeks. Our big guys aren't very mean to them, but the chicks still get pecked a lot. We kept a small cage in our coop for only the chicks to go into. The chicks stick together and protect our little silkie bantam. I think in a week or two they should be ready to integrate with the big chickens.
 

Katt47

Chirping
Nov 1, 2017
22
21
52
What if the chicks are 3 weeks and 5 weeks old? Think they can be put together faster in the coop?
 

blackdog043

Crowing
Feb 19, 2017
2,131
3,327
376
Charlotte, NC
I integrated at 4 weeks from my coop brooder, with a panic door. It went so well with them that young, that I'll be integrating the same way from now on. There was a little pecking and chasing, but it was like, get out of my way, not an attack peck. I got this idea from @azygous & @aart

I would cut a hole in the fence right now and put a piece of wood up with a hole or two big enough for the chicks to get through(panic door) but not the big girls, in case they need to get away. The wood or use cardboard, will define where they have to go easier, than finding the hole in the wire fence. Also put some things in the big girl run for the chicks to get behind, but not trapped. A piece of plywood leaned against the side, a pallet up on blocks for them to get under...
Here is a pic of my brooder set up with the panic doors made out of cardboard. I think you'll be surprised how easy it will be this young. They were already on the other side and you didn't see any aggression.

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At 6 weeks they were up roosting with the big girls.

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aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium member
7 Years
Nov 27, 2012
71,287
72,522
1,557
SW Michigan
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I would cut a hole in the fence right now and put a piece of wood up with a hole or two big enough for the chicks to get through(panic door) but not the big girls, in case they need to get away. The wood or use cardboard, will define where they have to go easier, than finding the hole in the wire fence.
Excellent idea...using cardboard will allow you to more easily adjust the size of the holes.
Start small with the holes, it's amazing how small a hole an adult bird can get thru.
 

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