Our sweet teenager chicks are officially 2 months old! This week it was time to kick them out of the chicken tractor (I had more babies hatch that needed the space too)!
At this age, they are about half the size of a grown hen. They are fully feathered in their adult plumage, but still chirp like babies.
When moving your teen chicks in with the adults, expect some fighting. Chickens have a hierarchy and the top birds are most always the oldest. Luckily our little flock of one rooster and 4 hens had been exposed to the teens a little already. The older chickens would often be free ranging around the chicken tractor, and at least got to see the young ones existed.
There will be some pecking the first few days. The little chicks may be scared and huddle together in a safe corner of the coop. This is normal, and as long as none are being targeted and blood gets drawn, you do not need to intervene.
Chick Tip: Mixing your flock can be a stressful and exciting time! The best course of action for adding new, young chickens to your established flock, is to lock them all in together. The coop needs to be large enough that the chicks can always stay well out of the way. If you have a fenced in run, I suggest also leaving that open to add space.
Chick Tip: It is important to leave all the chickens together for at least 4-5 days in the new coop. This gives enough time for the flock to adjust to its new members. More importantly, the teen chicks must learn to sleep in the coop. They need to understand this will be their NEW home. If you don’t leave them on “ lock down” long enough, there is a chance they’ll go back to the chicken tractor every evening.- or even try to sleep on the ground or in trees.
After several days of lock down, our little pullets are loving their new freedom and larger coop. They keep to themselves, and it is sort of like having 2 separate flocks! They stay close to the coop and understand it is HOME! They will venture out during the day to free range, but so far, stay near the coop.
Since my daughter and I have spent so much time with them, they are very friendly- well some of them are! Our lovely black Mystic Onyx, Starling (whose name is now Phoenix), is a definite favorite. She comes right up to me and stands still for me to pick her up! Dotty, the Cuckoo Maran, is always very tame and sweet.
Tiny ( a TINY black Prairie Bluebell Egger), is lean, fast, and terrified of everything! Which probably means she’ll live the longest!
It’s been a fun and exciting adventure raising our chicks from Hoover’s! It is so pleasing to finally see them all together as one flock. Raising them from chicks ourselves definitely resulted in some tame, loving birds! I’m looking forward to have a basket full of colorful eggs this summer! (-And am already planning to add more!)
Check back in a few months from now to see what our new girls are laying!