Why cant I put my chicks with my older birds?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by TigerLilly, Dec 13, 2010.

  1. TigerLilly

    TigerLilly I failed Chicken Math

    Jul 18, 2010
    Central Florida
    OK, I dont have any chicks...yet. I stopped at a feed store to check out their chicks; been thinking about getting some to raise up.
    So I'm looking at some 3 wk old black sex links, trying to decide if it would be worth the trouble right now (got a lot going on) and I ask, "So, at what age can I integrate them into the flock I already have? The youngest hen I have is about 6-7 months old."
    She looks at me like I've lost my mind & says, "Oh, I don't think you can, but let me check."
    She goes & asks an older woman sitting in a rocking chair, who basically repeats what she just told me.
    So let me get this right...if I have an established flock & want to buy chicks to take over egg-laying when the others get too old...I CAN'T PUT THEM TOGETHER?
    Wow, I can just imagine all the dozens of separate flocks I'll have if I listen to that nonsense, not to mention all the coops that will take over my yard!
    Do people selling chicks really believe this, or is it just my luck that I get the one misinformed chicken-seller that really believes that?

    BTW--Debi, just in case you hit this thread at the 'right' time, I've already checked out your BYC page & plan on using your tips!
  2. BarredBuff

    BarredBuff Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 6, 2009
    Mine free range and lived in different coops. They were introduced to each other at 8 weeks everyone was fine. But if their penned I think I would intergrate them when the youngins are 12 weeks old. [​IMG]
  3. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    You can integrate them when they are big enough to stand up to the adult's "pecking order" Adults will sometimes peck a chick to death if it's mother is not protecting it and it cannot escape their pecking.

    How you do it does vary depending on how you raise them. I usually free range mine together at 8 weeks, but they sleep in separate pens. The younger ones have a chicken tractor to stay in. That way the younger ones have a lot of space to avoid being picked on. They will keep to themselves for the most part you will have a young flock and an older flock. As the pullets start laying and the rooster is more interested in them, that is when I fully move them into the big girls coop.

    Two coops is nice, at least one main coop and a smaller temporary housing option (chicken tractor for me), but you don't have to build a new coop every time you buy chicks. By the time the youngsters are laying they should be moved into the main coop, then you can re-use the smaller one for new chicks.
  4. KimberlyJ

    KimberlyJ Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 13, 2010
    I'm currently working on integrating 12 week olds with 24 week olds. Although it isn't going great, it's not going so terribly bad either. There's no blood [​IMG] The 5 big girls won't let the 7 little gilrs outside into the run but after the big girls go to roost the little ones come out. And when I free range for an hour or so after work they all go outside; just in two groups. There are places in the coop that the little ones can get away from the big ones for safety, two sets of water and feeders. And as the little girls are getting bigger it seems to be getter better [​IMG] So it can be done.

  5. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I've read a lot of nonsense told to people by feed store clerks, but this is a first.

    I'll bet the old lady in the rocking chair once introduced some the wrong way and had some kill each other, so just decided it couldn't be done.

    My conclusion: we forget how lucky we are to have this resource!

    BTW, it took about a year before my groups were really integrated. It wasn't a bloody thing, they just hung around in different groups, and slept in different spots in the coop. Now they stay together all day, and all sleep on the roost. (Well, except the BO that has to have a shelf to herself.)
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2010
  6. TigerLilly

    TigerLilly I failed Chicken Math

    Jul 18, 2010
    Central Florida
    Quote:I think you might be right about the little old lady...& BYC is exactly why I wasn't too concerned with what either of them said. I just think it's odd how someone can be so blatantly close-minded because of something they may have done wrong. If she wasnt in 'retail' so to speak, it wouldn't bother me, but just think of what other misinformation she could be doling out...

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