When to Move Chicks into a Coop

There are things that you should always consider when you bring or hatch out chicks. One of those things is moving chicks into a coop with an existing flock. Rushing it can cause your chicks to be killed by your existing flock, and no one wants that to happen.

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When to Move Chicks into a Coop

You need to take things slow. You cannot just throw a bunch of 6-week-old chicks into your existing flock.

Before you even consider moving chicks to the coop, you need to have a secure shelter for them. Without a safe place to sleep, you could easily lose all your chicks to predators in one night.

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You want to make sure that your chicks are fully feathered out.

You want to make sure that your nights aren't too cold, I try to wait until nights are consistently above 8C.

You need to wait until the baby chicks are about the same size as the older chickens before moving them in together. OR. They have somewhere safe to hide from the older chickens that the older chickens can't get to.

In raising Standard Brahmas there is no way I am raising chicks until they are close to the same size as the adults, just because of the size of the birds. Instead, I move the grow out so that the chicks are able to get in behind it for a safe place, but the adults can't fit back there.

Run VS Free-range

Either way, chicks might have trouble knowing what to do when night comes and the other birds to to the coop.

In run situations, they might enjoy running around the run (no pun intended) where they can stretch their wings without worrying about the other chickens. You will probably have to herd them or put them in the coop yourself for the first little while.

If you are free-ranging your flock once you have moved your chicks to the coop, you need to keep them locked in the coop for about a week. This allows them time to get used to where “home” is.

Once they are familiar with the coop, you can allow them into the run during the day and they should go back into the coop every night. It's a good idea to check for stragglers every night to be sure no one is left outside.

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Before Moving to A Coop

Before you move your chicks to the coop with adult birds it might be a good idea to let your chicks get used to fresh air and the noises outside. This is why we use a grow-out coop.

I put a rabbit hutch in a chicken run for them to experience the great outdoors without worrying about predators or other chickens harming the chicks.

Be safe. Don't rush things.

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