When to introduce chicks to adults?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by secuono, Nov 10, 2010.

  1. secuono

    secuono Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 29, 2010
    I have Japs, that are tiny, so not worried about them, but the Silkies are huge compared to everyone. I have a few that will be standard size, most are tiny. There are two Cochins and a bantam that are the same size as my Japs and they can be pretty mean to the smaller babies. I believe they are 6-7 weeks old. I was wondering if I can let them out with the adults already or not. I've been letting them and the 3 Silkies, since they are the same age and size as the other 3 babies, out with the adults while I watch them after work. The white Silkie is the meanest, but the 3 mean babies know to avoid them.
    So what age or size can I let them out with them?
  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    You will find that whether they are bantam or full sized does not matter all that much. It is the maturity and personality of the chicken that matters. With yours being 6 to 7 weeks old, they are fully feathered so unless you have extreme conditions, weather should not be a concern.

    Your set-up has a whole lot to do with it. If you have plenty of room for the young ones to get away from the older ones, you can try letting them out now. You might have an adult that will go out of her way to attack the young ones, but then you might not. Mine are a pretty laid back lot. If a young one forgets its manners and tries to eat with its betters in the pecking order, it will often get a peck to remind it of proper etiquette. But mine do not go out of their way looking for the young ones to try to kill them. Some older chickens will. I'd certainly supervise until you determine you don't have an Attila or Matilda the Hun in your flock that loves to hunt down and kill weaker chickens. And set up different eating and drinking stations so the older ones can't keep the young ones away from all the food and drink.

    I'd also make sure they have separate sleeping accommodations. I find that bedtime is when mine are most vicious to the young ones. They don't try to kill them but they sure let them know who is higher in the pecking order. That way, you don't absolutely have to be there when they wake up to let them out. If they are sleeping in the same area, I'd be up at the crack of dawn to let them out so the older ones cannot corner the young ones.

    If your space is tight, this is going to be harder to do. Hope you can get something helpful out of this. In any case, monitor them until you feel comfortable that they will be all right together.

    Good luck!
  4. secuono

    secuono Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 29, 2010
    I am only worried about the 2 Silkies. They are the only ones who go out of their way to boss the newbies around.
    My Japs, back when there were 15 of them, accepted the 4 Silkies with no issues at all, even though the Japs are tiny.

    Two of my hens got out of their run again, I don't worry about them getting out anymore, I just open the people door and walk them around and back in. Since the run doesn't have a real door they know of to get in and out. I'm thinking that if the Japs can get out, the new chicks would too and be freakishly hard to catch. Should I section off the run to where there are no loose ends they could get out of for a week or two?
    If I section off the run, it will be 4ftx15ft area with a truck top attached. Hoping that would be enough area for them all.
    The coop is 7ft by 9ft, maybe larger, nests up on a bench and roosts on the other side...here are pics instead. Not sure what I can do about water though. I have two chick waterers I can put in there.

    This is where the chicks live until they are large enough. I took out the planter.

    Here is the inside. On the left is where the nests are.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2010
  5. secuono

    secuono Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 29, 2010
    Placed leg bands on the six 6-7week olds, trimmed the other 3's wings, not the silkies. Put in two quart waterers too.

    Haven't been able to check on them, I'm very sick today..
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2010
  6. secuono

    secuono Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 29, 2010
    I finally made it out to the barn. Sectioned off the run and all 6 babies were out having a good time. The black Cochin got pooed on, but other than that, they all seem to get along. [​IMG]
  7. secuono

    secuono Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 29, 2010
    All doing peachy. Can't wait til the little ones are big enough to join them!

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