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How old do chicks need to be before introducing them to older hens?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

 I have 4 Buff Orpingtons who are 10 months old. I want to add some but was not sure how big they needed to be. The new ones will be 8 weeks. Will they be old/big enough to introduce them? I thought about putting my large wire dog crate in so let them "meet" first.

post #2 of 8

You are on the right track with the process of introducing the two groups in a way that allows seeing but not touching.  That being said, something to consider would be bio-security.  When bringing new birds into the mix it is a good idea to use a quarantine process to protect your existing flock from any illnesses the new birds may be bringing with them - the current avian flu situation, as an example.  If you did a proper quarantine you would be adding an extra month to the age of your younger birds and at their age that month is significant in how large and prepared they are to deal with the introduction process to the bigger girls.

Where are we going, and why are we in this hand basket?
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Where are we going, and why are we in this hand basket?
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post #3 of 8
I'm new to this also. I have 4 chickens that are almost two years old. I now have 6 chicks from 8-10 weeks of age. I built a run attached to my grown hens run. I put the youngsters in there next to my adult chickens. I let them all out in my back yard together everyday when I can. First couple days two of the adults would chase off and peck at the young ones. There is enough room when they are out roaming so the young ones just run away and now know which ones are friendly and which ones to avoid. Its been a week and a half now. Only one of the adults will peck at the young ones if it gets to close. I plan on putting them all in the coup together over night in about a week. I'll let you know how it goes. I'm kind of nervous so putting it off. Some of my adult chickens will make dirt beds with the chicks so I think they are getting acquainted nicely. All hens BTW.
post #4 of 8

I have a rooster and 3 grown hens.  I added 5 pullets to the flock this Spring.  The pullets had a couple of weeks in a separate run - the meet & greet period, which went fine.  For the last 3-4 weeks they have all been in the chicken yard together but they continue to segregate - the older hens & rooster stay together and the 5 pullets keep together but away from the older birds.  Even the rooster seems uninterested in the pullets - he will occasionally chase one and pull out a few tail feathers.  They do all roost together at night in the chicken house and there doesn't seem to be any issues.  Will they ever become a single flock?

post #5 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by redstarmom View Post
 

I have a rooster and 3 grown hens.  I added 5 pullets to the flock this Spring.  The pullets had a couple of weeks in a separate run - the meet & greet period, which went fine.  For the last 3-4 weeks they have all been in the chicken yard together but they continue to segregate - the older hens & rooster stay together and the 5 pullets keep together but away from the older birds.  Even the rooster seems uninterested in the pullets - he will occasionally chase one and pull out a few tail feathers.  They do all roost together at night in the chicken house and there doesn't seem to be any issues.  Will they ever become a single flock?

Welcome to BYC.

They youngsters yet.  Like human kids they will tend to hang with other adolescents.  Eventually they will hang out more with the adults.  If the pullets aren't close to lay yet then the rooster knows they aren't worth his time yet.

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post #6 of 8

I have three Wyandot Bantams. 1 is 5 years old, the other two just a year. This year we decided to try to raise our own in an incubator. The result is we have four Bantam Orpingtons (sex as yet unknown) 1 Cuckoo, 1 Chocolate, 1 Black and 1 Blue. They hatched on 1 August and are living in their own run next to the older three birds. When does anyone feel is the right time to put them together. They look quite big, almost as big as the oldest of the other girl

 

 

 

s.

post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by grampy1947 View Post
 

I have three Wyandot Bantams. 1 is 5 years old, the other two just a year. This year we decided to try to raise our own in an incubator. The result is we have four Bantam Orpingtons (sex as yet unknown) 1 Cuckoo, 1 Chocolate, 1 Black and 1 Blue. They hatched on 1 August and are living in their own run next to the older three birds. When does anyone feel is the right time to put them together. They look quite big, almost as big as the oldest of the other girl

 

s.

Welcome to BYC.

When they are nearing the same size as the adults is the time everyone can be put put together.  For most that is around 12 weeks.

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post #8 of 8
Many thanks. They're beginning to outgrow their current house and run.
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