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Mixing chicks with adult hens

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

I have a dozen BR and Red Star chicks, about 6 weeks old.  They are ready to go outside for a little bit during nice weather.   

I also have 10 adult hens, mostly BO and GLWs.  I have the chick brooder/run within the main run for the adults, but sectioned off.

I want to put some temporary fencing just outside the run so that the chicks can go outside to explore and scratch.  I know you're not supposed to put the chicks in with the adults until they are about the same size, but is that a rule more for staying in the same coop, or does it also apply when they are outside?  Will the adults pick on the teen chicks?

Thanks!

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To do the useful thing, to say the courageous thing, to contemplate the beautiful thing: that is enough for one mans life.
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To do the useful thing, to say the courageous thing, to contemplate the beautiful thing: that is enough for one mans life.
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post #2 of 11

I would just watch and see what happens.  As long as the babies have somewhere safe to run away the ladies will eventually give up.

I'm a beginner have pitty on me
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I'm a beginner have pitty on me
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post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 

That's what I was thinking.  The front of the brooder has a plexiglass window where the chicks and hens have been able to see each other from the beginning.  I'll see how it goes, and let you know!

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To do the useful thing, to say the courageous thing, to contemplate the beautiful thing: that is enough for one mans life.
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To do the useful thing, to say the courageous thing, to contemplate the beautiful thing: that is enough for one mans life.
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post #4 of 11

This year I experimented a bit and had a hen with two chicks, 1 month old, and let them mix with the others. They had enough room to run around and escape if necessary, and they made it. I'll be trying it again in about three weeks with four chicks I have.

Does having a mother hen make a difference?

post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Treegod 

This year I experimented a bit and had a hen with two chicks, 1 month old, and let them mix with the others. They had enough room to run around and escape if necessary, and they made it. I'll be trying it again in about three weeks with four chicks I have.

Does having a mother hen make a difference?


I think it does, she tends to watch out for them.  Go near her, does she growl and puff up?  The other birds won't like that attitude so they stay away.

-  Annie  -

 

I have some Porcelain D'Uccles, Australorps, Araucana, India Blue Peafowl, Red Golden & Temminck Pheasants, Mandarin ducks, a few Nigerian & Pygmy goats, a couple cats, a DH and a few kids.  Simple and happy.

NPIP certified

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-  Annie  -

 

I have some Porcelain D'Uccles, Australorps, Araucana, India Blue Peafowl, Red Golden & Temminck Pheasants, Mandarin ducks, a few Nigerian & Pygmy goats, a couple cats, a DH and a few kids.  Simple and happy.

NPIP certified

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post #6 of 11

We have 8 adult hens & 6, 9wk old little girls.  A part of the big girl run is sectioned off for the little ones and they have been seeing each other for about a month now.  Last week we started letting everyone outside to free range together in the evening and it has worked pretty well.  They all go to their separate coops at night.  Yesterday, I started letting the little ones in the run with the big ones - I cut a small hole in the netting and they can run into their part if the big ones get too mean.  Mainly, they just chase them a bit - a few pecks here and there but nothing serious.  My main problem is keeping the little ones out of the layer pellets.  I had a hard time switching the big ones to pellets, but these little ones run for them and start eating like they are starving.  Which they aren't.

Good luck!

Chillin' in the country with Chickens & Ducks.
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Chillin' in the country with Chickens & Ducks.
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post #7 of 11

Yes happyhensny, she can be a little defensive. Not so much now, they've grown up.

post #8 of 11

I think there's always going to be some pecking order happening. The self- proclaimed queen hen will be sure to push the younger & weaker ones away from the choice food & treats, be sure there is more than enough for everyone. I usually put out two dishes or piles to give everyone a fair chance & less pecking at each other. Chickens learn quickly, so don't worry too much they work things out.lol

~ MARIE~, ZOey's nana in COOLville, Ohio
1 rooster(OEGame/Andalusian mix), 1 B.A./OEG hen,1 Black Jersey Giant hen, 1 Black Astralorp hen; 1 - ~White Plymouth Rock "Klucky". 1~Delaware hen.
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~ MARIE~, ZOey's nana in COOLville, Ohio
1 rooster(OEGame/Andalusian mix), 1 B.A./OEG hen,1 Black Jersey Giant hen, 1 Black Astralorp hen; 1 - ~White Plymouth Rock "Klucky". 1~Delaware hen.
Reply
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 

Great points, MZC!  Thanks.

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To do the useful thing, to say the courageous thing, to contemplate the beautiful thing: that is enough for one mans life.
Reply
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To do the useful thing, to say the courageous thing, to contemplate the beautiful thing: that is enough for one mans life.
Reply
post #10 of 11

I have 7 chicks ( Buffs) in a separate enclosure with the mother. They are about 2 weeks old.  How long should I leave momma in the pen with the chicks?  I also have a friend that wants the chicks and needs to know how long they should be kept under the heat lamp.

I B ignorant sometimes:lol:

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