When to join different aged chicks

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by 13Bettys, May 2, 2017.

  1. 13Bettys

    13Bettys Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 3 BSL that are 9 weeks old and 6 others that are 4 weeks old (2 white rocks, 2 barred, 2 RIR). They are the first in my flock. Today was the first day that I put them together for a little bit to meet each other. The 3 older chicks are noticeably larger and seemed to peck at the smaller ones a little. It wasn't too much but I stayed out there with them and it wasn't a long time. Is this normal behavior and should I continue introducing them on pretty days or wait until the size is closer? Also could I possibly leave them alone during the day and kennel the small ones at night or is it too soon?
     
  2. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    That is fairly normal behavior -- as long as the area they are in has plenty of space and some good obstacles to allow for escape and evasion (and getting out of the line of sight) it generally won't reach a point of being dangerous to any involved. Adding extra feed/water stations helps to better protect against bullying by restriction of resources and lessen the aggression as there is more of each to go around so less need to guard it. Using a "look but don't touch" approach for a few days (ie the kennel, fencing off a section of the area with a simple stand of poultry netting, etc) can help ease the process if you are concerned.
    Ultimately, it's easier to do it all at once vs. trying to do the "here and there on pretty days" as it's familiarity that leads to integration -- by only having them there for a bit of days here and there they never get past the "you're an invader in our territory" stage so it prolongs the whole process.
     
  3. lisa920

    lisa920 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's normal behavior, at that age they should be ok together. I just yesterday introduced 11 8-week olds to my three older girls, (with much worry on my part) there have been some "normal" pecking and chasing but no blood drawn woohoo! 24 hours later they are still ok. Yours should be fine.
     
  4. 6sablehens

    6sablehens Out Of The Brooder

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    Ours are different ages and now that they have settled in they are all get along. Monitor their behaviour, and as long as they don't bully the younger ones too much the should be fine and work out a pecking order. Make sure they have a lot of space to run away and areas they can escape to if they need to, and have extra food and water in different places so the younger ones have access to food and water and the older ones don't stop them from being able to eat by chasing them away from a feeder or waterer. If they are too aggressive, you can separate them through a fence so they don't get hurt and can get used to each other.

    We let ours out together where they had lots of space, extra food and water in different areas, and lots of hiding places where they could escape being bullied if they needed to. The older ones in our flock weren't overly aggressive to the new chickens and less than a week they already started to improve. They got used to each every day and now they are a happy flock and all get along really well.
     
  5. 13Bettys

    13Bettys Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok thanks guys. Sorry I wrote a book above lol. Here's a few pics of the meeting
     
  6. 13Bettys

    13Bettys Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Going to try one more time
     
  7. 13Bettys

    13Bettys Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]
     
  8. 6sablehens

    6sablehens Out Of The Brooder

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    Aww beautiful chickens! I love having a mixed flock, all the different colours and patterns are so interesting! :)
     
  9. 13Bettys

    13Bettys Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you. I really like a variety also
     
  10. Jeremy J

    Jeremy J Just Hatched

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    I appreciate the advice here. We are trying to integrate three new chicks (one is a rooster) with the slightly older flock of seven. The older ones are 11 weeks and the younger ones are 8 weeks. The older one are larger and are a tight group that spends a lot of time together.

    They spent several weeks in indoor brooders right next to each other until the older ones were moved outside. Then a week ago we moved the younger 3 outside to a brooder inside the run the older ones are in. They have spent plenty of time near each other. We now let them spend every day in the run together. The older ones pick on the younger ones but it isn't too bad. My concern is that it's been several days and they aren't letting up. I would really like to let the little ones sleep in the big coop but I don't want to confine them in there with the bullies until that lets up some. Basically I have two flocks living in the same run. Any thoughts on when they might start becoming one flock.

    Here are some pics for fun. :)

    The younger ones:
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    Here are the older ones eating some scraps. You can see the younger flock in the background.

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