When to incorporate my 3 chicks to the flock

djseraphim

In the Brooder
May 5, 2020
23
34
49
Tallahassee, FL
Hello! I am a first time chicken owner and need your expertise! :) I originally got my first 4 babies from TSC and as my luck would have it...my favorite girl was really a boy, so I had to re-home him. The lady I gave him to raises chickens and gave me 3 babies in exchange. I got them on May 4th so they are almost a month old. My first round of girls I got March 21st. I JUST put my big girls on finisher food. I have a huge coop so I was thinking of building a little temp cage inside their coop so they could all get acclimated...not sure that's even a great idea? I am thinking that because I also own 4 cats and with kittens you gotta ease into the introductions or fur starts to fly :D

That was a long way to go about asking - when can they all come together? These chicks are quite large for their age...maybe it's because they came from better breeds/stock? I guess I'm debating on putting them in w/ the big girls sooner than I was thinking because of their sizes....but what say you all? :)
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Great Horny Toads
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 16, 2015
44,720
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1,452
Wisconsin
You can start integration whenever you want. Usually I wait until they don't need extra heat. Definitely start by penning them separately where they can be seen through the fence for a week or two before trying supervised mingling.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
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SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
I have a huge coop so I was thinking of building a little temp cage inside their coop so they could all get acclimated...not sure that's even a great idea?
It's a fantastic idea!!
This doesn't quite meet your scenario, but might give you some ideas:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/integrating-new-birds-at-4-weeks-old.72603/
Still, observe the....
Integration Basics:
It's all about territory and resources(space/food/water).
Existing birds will almost always attack new ones to defend their resources.
Understanding chicken behaviors is essential to integrating new birds into your flock.

Confine new birds within sight but physically segregated from older/existing birds for several weeks, so they can see and get used to each other but not physically interact.

In adjacent runs, spread scratch grains along the dividing mesh, best if mesh is just big enough for birds to stick their head thru, so they get used to eating together.

The more space, the better.
Birds will peck to establish dominance, the pecked bird needs space to get away. As long as there's no copious blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down and beaten unmercilessly, let them work it out. Every time you interfere or remove new birds, they'll have to start the pecking order thing all over again.

Multiple feed/water stations. Dominance issues are most often carried out over sustenance, more stations lessens the frequency of that issue.

Places for the new birds to hide 'out of line of sight'(but not a dead end trap) and/or up and away from any bully birds. Roosts, pallets or boards leaned up against walls or up on concrete blocks, old chairs tables, branches, logs, stumps out in the run can really help. Lots of diversion and places to 'hide' instead of bare wide open run.
Good ideas for hiding places:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/a-cluttered-run.1323792/


I JUST put my big girls on finisher food.
What is the protein percentage?
I feed Flock Raiser from hatch to harvest....with Oyster Shells in a separate feeder for the active layers.
 

Doc7

Songster
May 12, 2018
747
1,075
198
Central Virginia
Hello! I am a first time chicken owner and need your expertise! :) I originally got my first 4 babies from TSC and as my luck would have it...my favorite girl was really a boy, so I had to re-home him. The lady I gave him to raises chickens and gave me 3 babies in exchange. I got them on May 4th so they are almost a month old. My first round of girls I got March 21st. I JUST put my big girls on finisher food. I have a huge coop so I was thinking of building a little temp cage inside their coop so they could all get acclimated...not sure that's even a great idea? I am thinking that because I also own 4 cats and with kittens you gotta ease into the introductions or fur starts to fly :D

That was a long way to go about asking - when can they all come together? These chicks are quite large for their age...maybe it's because they came from better breeds/stock? I guess I'm debating on putting them in w/ the big girls sooner than I was thinking because of their sizes....but what say you all? :)

3 weeks or less is fine, here is an example of implementing some above ideas. These chicks integrated at 19 days age, 4.5 weeks old now.



5B18E17F-8DA7-45A3-A880-45A2D68EA1F1.jpeg
 

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