When to introduce my 10 week old chicks to the "flock"?? Help!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by horsepowerhaven, Aug 18, 2010.

  1. horsepowerhaven

    horsepowerhaven Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 20, 2009
    Queen Creek, Arizona
    I have three chicks about 10-12 weeks old (I need to look at my receipt when I bought them for the exact date). I'm currently keeping them in a dog crate in the garage, and my other two chickens (one hen and one rooster, I lost 2 hens to the heat this summer) have hung out next to the dog crate and been around the chicks. They don't seem to show any agression to the younger ones. The chicks appear to have lost all their baby feathers at this point and they are about 1/3 the size of the adults.

    I let my adults free range during the day. When is it ok to let my young ones free range with them? When should I allow them to go up in the coop at night instead of their dog kennel?

    If I let them out to free range, will they naturally want to go back to the dog kennel in the garage as the adults do to their coop?

    This is my first time raising young chicks, so I'm learning as I go.

    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2010
  2. sunnychooks

    sunnychooks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I normally don't let them together until the young ones are almost the size of the adults. It shouldn't be too much longer for you. I don't intergrate them until I can put the chicks into the coop at night. I find it easier to train them to go into the adult coop when they are to be with the adults permanantly. But that's just my management style. Others may do it differently. I don't think there's a right or wrong answer for that question. It depends on what works for you. Initially, there will be some chasing and pecking, but things settle down soon. Good luck and have fun!
     
  3. Tomhusker

    Tomhusker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 28, 2010
    Hamburg, Iowa
    I segregated a section of the coop when mine were 5 or 6 weeks old. Now they have access to the entire coop and run, plus are free ranging. However they do avoid the older, larger chooks and pretty much stay together. There is 6 weeks age difference, and the size difference is still pretty obvious. There is some pecking, but it seems now to be brought on when the smaller chicks panic when the big ones come around.
     
  4. horsepowerhaven

    horsepowerhaven Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 20, 2009
    Queen Creek, Arizona
    My coop is small and not designed well to section off one area of it, so that isn't an option for me. Do I just stick the young ones in there one evening after the adults have roosted? That makes me nervous as to what will happen overnight or in the am before I have let them out to free range...

    I'm trying to figure out the best option considering my setup. Thanks!
     
  5. beachchickie

    beachchickie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I put a piece of wire between my hens and pullets for 2 wks. THen Took the wire away there is still some pecking until they all start laying then it gets better. The rooster may give you more problems than the hens.
     
  6. quinkerton

    quinkerton Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 9, 2009
    North Bennington
    I would put the dog crate in the coop for a few days so the "ladies" can get used to their new roommates and the chicks can get aquainted with their new home. They may not leave the crate for a few days after you open it also. When I put my chicks in the coop I put them in there in the morning and closed the door, then opened it in the afternoon. Everyone seemed fine but they didn't leave the coop to inspect the new world for about 4 days. Everyone was fine.
     
  7. sunnychooks

    sunnychooks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree that it's best to separate with fencing or wire for a couple of weeks. The idea is that the older birds and the new ones can see each other but not get to each other. There will be less pecking and chasing when you finally let them together.
     
  8. nanawendy

    nanawendy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2009
    Bellingham Wa
    I separate as well. And have "play dates, one or two of the big girls go to the teen coop. The coops are separated by only chicken wire. This works out well. But I keep my eye on them until I'm sure all is well.
     
  9. Mrs. Feathers

    Mrs. Feathers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have a transition brooder in our coop so everyone gets to hear each other and know each other exists. Next step in integration is a segregated portion to our run that we put our most recent hatches in at 7 or 8 weeks. Once they have been out there beside each other for a week or so we bring them into the general coop for the night. By morning they are usually a family....with the usual pecking order stuff going on.
    Then the surprises can happen...like yesterday afternoon when two of my hens suddenly appeared with the 7 week old babes who had just gone into the segregated run that morning. We still have no idea how they managed to get their heavy non-flying butts in there. [​IMG]
    Now after 3 days everyone is together because after I returned the hens to their rightful place, the babies stood at the gate peeping away until I finally let them in with the others. Like Tomhusker I find the young ones keep to themselves. The low on the pecking order pullets stare them down and I am sure they harrass them to no end when I am not around. The little guys still sleep in the brooder at night but that is mainly due to a space issue. When we process our extra roos this weekend they will move into the big kids coop. Then I will have a free brooder....hmmmmm.....[​IMG] time....please someone stop me
     
  10. horsepowerhaven

    horsepowerhaven Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 20, 2009
    Queen Creek, Arizona
    Unfortunately my coop is not big enough to section off, and also not big enough to put the large dog crate into it. It is also hot here (AZ 100+ temps) so I make sure the chickens are out of the coop all day to get into the horse stalls for better shade. Keeping them in the coop during the day was how I lost 2 adult hens to the heat this year. It was very sad and a tough lesson for me.

    I only have one adult hen and one rooster, so I'm not sure how tough they will be on the new chicks. They have hung out next to them in the garage with no issues.

    I guess I'll have to play around and see how things go. I want to make sure the young ones will go back to the coop at night with the adults... I'm not sure how to get that to happen, right now they are scared of the adult chickens.

    Let me know if you have any other creative ideas. :)
     

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