When to put in the new Chicks w/ FLock?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by milezone, Dec 14, 2011.

  1. milezone

    milezone Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi Guys,

    Ok I have 5 chicks that are about 2 months old now, and want to put them in the coop with the full grown 10 hens and 1 rooster. Is it time now? Do I wait longer? 1 I think may be a rooster (possible 2), so do I have to get rid of those fellas? Thanks

    Russ
     
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Introductions can be done now, but most folks have better success at avoiding the brutality if the chicks are separated from the adults by a screen or netting. The look but can't touch seems to work. Personally? I never integrate until the young ones are full sized and can push back. Chicken politics can be very rough.
     
  3. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    There's no set answer. Most suggest you don't add youngsters until they're about the same size as the adults, or at least big enough to hold their own if a bully were to corner one...maybe around 14/15 weeks.

    But to me, run size would play a role in that decision. If you have a HUGE run (FAR more than the minimum 10 sq. ft. per bird suggestion), or free range, then I've found that young ones can be added earlier, because there's just so much space...so it's very easy for chicks (or any newbies really) to stay out of the way of the older birds. But in runs that are smallish, I'd definitely want to wait until the birds were older.

    At 8 or 9 weeks, I doubt you'll have rooster issues, but that will probably happen a month or two down the road, as your cockerels begin becoming hormonal and trying the pullets/hens. Then your roo will probably put the smack-down on them, which could get ugly or not.

    That's my 2 cents...
     
  4. snooptwomey

    snooptwomey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    everything that I was told and that seemed to work was waiting for the new ones to stop making chick noises and make big chicken noises(clucks). I think my youngest were around 12-16 weeks, then they were closer to the size of my big girls. they got chased around the coop sometimes for like the first 2 days, then after that all is well me.
     
  5. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Eight weeks is old enough to merge them with the adults. However, if you don't want them to be seriously bullied, you need to provide them with escapes.

    I merge my chicks with the adults at age six weeks. But the little ones have a "panic room" to dash into when chased. It's just a small fenced off section in a corner of the run with pop holes too small for the adults to fit through. The chicks' food and water are inside so they don't get bullied away from the feeders.

    In addition, I cut small pop holes in the run fence every where there's a possibility of a chick getting cornered. I have a run with several additional wings, so a chick can find themselves trapped in a corner with no means of escape, thus a target for some serious pecking. In those spots, a chick finds a small pop hole and can quickly escape.

    It takes very little time for chicks to discover these safety features and to navigate them at full speed. I've successfully merged many sets of chicks this way with no problems with bullying.

    As for the coop, I've found that having simple partitions on the roosting perch so that the chicks can roost in their own spot without being pecked is all that's required. I slip old Rubbermaid tub lids over the perch, after cutting a slot in the center, and staple them to the perch support. In the morning, the chicks are always the first to de-perch and race out ahead of the adults, so they figure out quickly a routine to stay safe.
     
  6. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

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    I usually don't add until they are at least 12-16 weeks. Makes for an easier transition.
     
  7. milezone

    milezone Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 3, 2011
    SW Kentucky
    Thanks for the advice guys. :)

    Russ
     
  8. Starlight 451

    Starlight 451 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 28, 2011
    if you free range ur chickens the younger ones will have somewhere to run and hide, so it should be okay. they do get pushed around a bit, but ours survived hanging out with the older girls from when they were two months old.
    although not sure about the roosters... [​IMG]
     
  9. milezone

    milezone Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 3, 2011
    SW Kentucky
    I free range them most of the time, but coop them up at night due to the coyote problem we have. So I think I will just keep em seperate for another couple weeks.

    BTW will be hatching a few dozen for spring, anyone want some pure Buff Orph? We feed them the best, and they are beautiful birds.

    Russ
     
  10. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    Fred's Hens :

    Introductions can be done now, but most folks have better success at avoiding the brutality if the chicks are separated from the adults by a screen or netting. The look but can't touch seems to work. Personally? I never integrate until the young ones are full sized and can push back. Chicken politics can be very rough.

    I agree...​
     

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