When to introduce my chicks to the rest of the flock

Kaddie1

Hatching
Sep 17, 2019
4
3
9
i have a small flock of 9 month old chickens and guineas (6 total birds) and 3 babies that are almost 9 weeks. They have been in adjoining runs for about a week now. When can I put them together in the coop? As of right now, I carry the littles in and out of our garage everyday. Ready for everyone to hang together but don’t want anyone hurt.
 

All Ball

Songster
7 Years
Jul 14, 2013
329
165
191
El Sobrante, CA
How do the big ones treat them through the run walls? I would assume you still see aggression. But if not, you could introduce them by putting them in a cage inside the big ones' run and see what happens. When you intro in same enclosure, it is good to set up a lot of obstacles and hiding places. I backyard free-range mine and the big girls required the little ones to hang out in a separate part of the backyard and really gave them heck in the evening going into the coop. But I have quite a bully in my first generation.
 

slordaz

hatchaholic
5 Years
Apr 15, 2015
3,456
6,394
602
Idaho
I introduce them under supervision as soon as the incubator hatch completes and they have gotten good and dried, they go out for short visits from day 1 and take them back in with me, by a week the flock is used to them and not running terrified that theres a broody around they didn't know about lol. by 2 weeks they are in the grow out pen and they can see and here the flock and the adults come over and talk to them, and just go from there as to when they spend full time with the flock but usually by a month old they are fine with my spoiled rotten flock lol
 

Kaddie1

Hatching
Sep 17, 2019
4
3
9
Thank you for your responses!! They have been interacting through chicken wire for about 2 weeks. The first few days the big girls were interested in them, but now don’t even seem to notice them. No aggression right now at all from the big hens. The little ones are spunky though.

What about food? Do you feed them separately since the bigs are on layer feed and the littles are still on grower? My bigs free range most of the day and only partake in feed when they are closed in the run.
 

All Ball

Songster
7 Years
Jul 14, 2013
329
165
191
El Sobrante, CA
Wow if you don't see aggression, maybe I just did NOT luck out...very jealous of slordaz... I would feed starter/grower and leave out oyster shell for the layers. The little ones (and roos) cannot handle the calcium in layer feed - I only have that out if I can keep it away from non-laying chickens.
 
May 27, 2019
683
1,101
292
Smithville, MO
I introduce them under supervision as soon as the incubator hatch completes and they have gotten good and dried, they go out for short visits from day 1 and take them back in with me, by a week the flock is used to them and not running terrified that theres a broody around they didn't know about lol. by 2 weeks they are in the grow out pen and they can see and here the flock and the adults come over and talk to them, and just go from there as to when they spend full time with the flock but usually by a month old they are fine with my spoiled rotten flock lol
I have chicks 1.5 weeks and 5 days that I take into the run for an 1-2 hours a day. The older chickens free range and don’t care. If a chick runs towards them they run away. Lol
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
99,103
138,352
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
They have been in adjoining runs for about a week now.
They have been interacting through chicken wire for about 2 weeks.
A week... or two weeks?

What about food? Do you feed them separately since the bigs are on layer feed and the littles are still on grower? My bigs free range most of the day and only partake in feed when they are closed in the run.
Put them all on starter feed...or a flock raiser formula.
Provide Calcium via Oyster Shell for the layers in a separate feeder.

Let the older birds out to free range after they are done laying for the day,
then lock the youngers in the coop and run so they can inspect it without harassment.

How big is your coop and run, in feet by feet?
Dimensions and pics would be most helpful here.
Sectioning off a part of the coop with wire might be helpful.

Oh, and....Welcome to BYC! @Kaddie1
Where in this world are you located?
Climate, and time of year, is almost always a factor.
Please add your general geographical location to your profile.
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aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
99,103
138,352
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
You might garner some ideas with these tips on....
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.
 

MANNA-PRO

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