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Adding new birds to flock

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I have 6 red sex link hens that are almost 2 years old. I have 15 chicks hatched February 1. After the chicks are fully feathered, say 6-7 weeks old, will they be old enough to defend themselves if needed? Or should I keep them separated longer?
post #2 of 5

The older birds are not going to "know" those youngsters and will look at them as interlopers. I suggest the "look but don't touch" process so they can all get a chance to know each other before you try to mingle them together. This has some information about integrating chickens:

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/adding-to-your-flock

 

Once you do put them all together, add extra feeders and waterers so the younger ones won't be kept away from eating and drinking. You might also want to put up some sort of escape nooks that the youngsters one can get in but the biggers can't...that way the smaller birds can get away from harassing bigger birds.

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post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thanks. I am building a bigger coop on one end of my run opposite my current coop. I think I'll put up a temporary divider after moving chicks outside so they can see the others but not touch. Then I'll watch them when we let them free range to see if the little ones are getting bullied.
post #4 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by kwcoop View Post

Thanks. I am building a bigger coop on one end of my run opposite my current coop. I think I'll put up a temporary divider after moving chicks outside so they can see the others but not touch. Then I'll watch them when we let them free range to see if the little ones are getting bullied.

 

Sounds like a good plan! The free ranging should help it go easier too since the younger ones will be able to get away from the older ones easier.

 

Good luck!

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post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Yes, we have 6 acres so we let the chickens out whenever we're home. They love scratching around the yard and edge of woods. They also gather around the deck close to dark because my wife gives them bread before putting them in coop!! It's been fun having them, so we got more!!!! Plus the eggs are awesome, and ppl always buy what we don't use!
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