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At what age can I put young pullets/chicks in with older hens?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I have two 2-month old Easter Eggers and want to put them in, before long, with the 8 hens in my existing flock, of mixed breeds, who are 10 months old.  RIght now the size difference between these 2 groups is considerable and I'm concerned the EE's could be killed by the larger ones.  I read somewhere that it is good to put the new hens in on the roost at night with the existing flock, so that they are less likely to notice they have newcomers.  However, it seems to me that I should also wait until my EE's are a bit older because right now they are just SO much smaller than the others, less than half the size.  At what age is it safe to place them with the rest?

post #2 of 8

I think it comes down to the birds and their personality. At this point I would try and house the birds side by side, so they could look but not touch. if you let them freerange, then let them out together. At first you'll find the big birds chasing away the young ones. Once they start to tolerate each other, then you can start moving them in together, just make sure there is enough space in the big girls pen for the young ones to run away if they need to. Create a couple of 'hidey holes', or even just something that can be hidden behind.

At the end of the day, it takes awhile to get hens living peacefully together, and I think the process should be started as soon as possible!

Gemma (The SilverLaced/Patridge Wyandotte Bantam) Doofy (Light Sussex) and Cinder (Gold Pencilled [?] Wyandotte Bantam) Britney (The white something freebie hen) Red (The Red something freebie hen)

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Gemma (The SilverLaced/Patridge Wyandotte Bantam) Doofy (Light Sussex) and Cinder (Gold Pencilled [?] Wyandotte Bantam) Britney (The white something freebie hen) Red (The Red something freebie hen)

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post #3 of 8

2months old is a pretty good age, in my opinion. To introduce the younger girls, try placing them in a dog crate inside the coop or run for a couple of days. This gives everyone the time to look & not peck. Then, on a nice day when you can be outside to protect & stop any attacks, let the young girls in with the main group. Be sure there is PLENTY of food! They should be fine after the first hour together. The younger girls will lear quickly who is the boss hen.

~ 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.
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post #4 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by MareeZoCool 

2months old is a pretty good age, in my opinion. To introduce the younger girls, try placing them in a dog crate inside the coop or run for a couple of days. This gives everyone the time to look & not peck. Then, on a nice day when you can be outside to protect & stop any attacks, let the young girls in with the main group. Be sure there is PLENTY of food! They should be fine after the first hour together. The younger girls will lear quickly who is the boss hen.


you make it sound so easy... It took almost 6weeks before my ISA could walk within pecking range of my Leghorn!!

Gemma (The SilverLaced/Patridge Wyandotte Bantam) Doofy (Light Sussex) and Cinder (Gold Pencilled [?] Wyandotte Bantam) Britney (The white something freebie hen) Red (The Red something freebie hen)

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Gemma (The SilverLaced/Patridge Wyandotte Bantam) Doofy (Light Sussex) and Cinder (Gold Pencilled [?] Wyandotte Bantam) Britney (The white something freebie hen) Red (The Red something freebie hen)

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post #5 of 8

Yeah I'm going through almost this exact same thing.  I have a quasi play-by play written up here. Though the rest of my flock is only 4 and they are not adults yet. My two EEs are almost two months old also. Its been almost a week and I still can't trust the two together in the same coop except when they are sleeping. I think putting them together, separated in the same run first is a good idea. Unfortunately the weather has really prohibited us from doing this.

post #6 of 8

If you have a rooster, I would move him out from being with the flock for awhile until the new girls are established. My OEG Roo killed one of my 3month old EE pullets. Now that the additional mini coop is built, Mr. Kenny is going into Rooster time-out so that the young girls and my 3 &4 year old girls can get to know each other without his interruptions.

In addition, I raise my chicks in a run right next to the bigger girls. They have seen each other since the pullets were 4 weeks old. Just not been in contact with each other as of yet

Through time .. and space .. each faith .. and race.. let there be peace! http://www.peaceful-spirit.org/
We cannot tolerate a world in which one in three women is a victim of domestic violence. Speak Out so it stops
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Through time .. and space .. each faith .. and race.. let there be peace! http://www.peaceful-spirit.org/
We cannot tolerate a world in which one in three women is a victim of domestic violence. Speak Out so it stops
Reply
post #7 of 8

I have a flock of 4 girls and one roo. i put my 3 week olds in a wire dog crate in the coop (they figured out how to get through the bigger holes) now the door is cracked open so only they can go in and it has been fine for the last 3 weeks. they have thier own water and food in the crate, and at night they get up on the roosts with the others. i dont see anyone picking on anybody. we will see what happens and how this works.

post #8 of 8

I have two 2+ yr. old Rhode Island Reds.  Very friendly and not very agressive.  However, I received 4 chicks back in April - 2 Rhodie Hens and 2 Barred Rocks.  So, I have started letting the Rhodie Kids free-range while my older hens are out and things have been fine.  It is so funny - I have Silkies too and my non-bearded hen if she is out at the same time seems to be irritated by seeing the other std. hens getting along.  I need to video this behavior but that little squirt will chase after all those bigger than life hens and run the slap out of the yard.  Go figure - so, I just have to remember to keep the Silkies up when the other six are out - this Silkie can handle them all and I don't know why she does this.

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