When to integrate chickens?


I love my sebright!!
Premium Feather Member
7 Years
May 8, 2017
So I got 18 new chickens, they are 13 weeks old, right now I have them in a pen that is connected to my big chicken's coop, I have it blocked off right now. They are already roosting in their pen, but now they need more shelter and better roosting space, so when can I integrate them with the big flock? They are already familiar with the older flock, they're both free range flocks. I was thinking I could just open the door where they can start going in the house, but would the older birds pick on them right now?
Can you please post some pictures of your set up including the inside of the coop?
What is the size of the coop in sq ft with how many linear ft of roosting space? How many sq ft is the run? Do free range or let them out into a larger area?
I start integration at around 4-5 weeks when a broody hen isn't doing it for me.
Ok, so I have some questions about introducing new chicks to my current flock. These questions may piggy-back. or, may be in addition to this (or other) threads...
My Coop & Run Facts:

Coop is 8'x6'
Open floor plan with three nesting boxes
15 linear feet of roosting space (I plan on expanding that to 20)
The coop is on stilts (like a stilt home) with the floor of the coop 2' off of the ground
(I sound like a realtor!! LOL)

Run is 8' x 16' and completely roofed; they always have quite a bit of shade available
Run is attached to the coop (they have free run of both sections; underside of the coop and the run) and is WELL PROTECTED.
Under the coop is Chicago red brick to keep things clean and cool.
The rest of the coop is natural dirt/sand.
There are cypress stumps and branches for playing/roosting on and around

I have 7 hens which are 10 months old
I have 5 NEW chicks (hens) which are 2+ months old

The 5 new girls have their own section in the big girls coop and run. It is separated with chicken wire, in order to attempt the "see, no peck" integration / familiarization.
They have their own roost area, coop area, and run area (including their own private door and ramp). All areas have the "see, no peck" divider.

The little girls have been in the "see, no peck" set up (with the older girls) for 2+ weeks now.

I have been feeding treats to all 12 of the girls, in the run, all along the chicken wire of the "see no peck" divider. This way they can all eat together (yet separately).

I live on 2 1/2 acres of property for them to free-range when I am outside with them. Usually about 3-4 days a week, and for about 1-4 hours at a time.

The NEW girls have not free-ranged as of yet. (Part of my questions)

So, 'ere go my questions:

#1 - Is it best to let them ALL free-range at the same time, so that they may meet on 'common ground' the first time?

#2 - Should I separate them each time they free-range together, before separating them before bed for the evening? If so, how many times (outings) should I repeat this process before letting them roost together for the first time?

Or, should I let them go into the coop as one, big, new flock, and see how the new bedtime (roost) thing plays out, the very first time they free-range together?

#3 - I really have no way to separate the 'baby chick feed' from the 'laying hen feed'. Therefore, is it OK to feed the new chicks the same laying feed as the older ones? Is it really that much of a big deal? (Again, the new chicks are 9-weeks old).

FYI - I am feeding all my girls Kalmbach brand chicken feed
18% Start Right Chick Feed (New girls)
17% All-Natural Layer Pellet (Old girls)
Henhouse Reserve Premium Chicken Feed
(I use this as scratch for both the new and older girls)

**Kalmbach is a phenomenal company and make awesome feed by the way! Check out the Henhouse Reserve!

#4 - Realizing that there may be some harassing/pecking/chasing going on during integration. I understand that I shouldn't intervene as it will disrupt the process. But, how much is too much? When do I step in?

I don't have any roosters nor are any of the hens broody.

Point of interest - here are the breeds I have:
The older girls - 2 Swedish Flowers, 2 Welsummers, 2 Speckled Sussex, 1 Cream Legbar
The new girls - 2 Blue Copper Marans, 2 Olive Eggers, 1 Cream Legbar

I will try to post some photos of my coop / run setup tomorrow, but I think what I already provided should help with your suggestions and guidance.

Thanks a bunch everyone!
Understood, but last time I tried to start a new thread with a similar title and/or situation, I was told just the opposite. I was told to post with like-material. :he

That being said, maybe my questions and/or situation may bring some other thoughts to the author of the pervious post.

So, now I have posted this in two different places. Bases covered.

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