Adding new chicks in with 12 week old hens?

crystal94040

Songster
12 Years
Aug 15, 2007
126
0
129
We have 4 hens...we were thinking of adding 4 more to our flock but were unsure what the 12 week old hens we already have will do? Will they accept them as babies? or peck at them? or ignore them all together?
Looking for advice before we get more.
 

WalkerH

Songster
8 Years
Apr 5, 2011
348
2
111
Southern Maryland, USA
I can't really tell you much advice. We have 20 11 week olds and 5 four week olds. For the most part when they are free ranging the older ones will ignore them. But they chase them off when the younger ones try to get food or water, so I just give them water and food with the ducks.
 

buttercup0884

The Farm Girl at Twilight
8 Years
Apr 30, 2011
443
4
111
Ararat
I am actually going through this right now. I had already moved my 30 2 month old chicks outside to their "coop" I still had 6 1 month old chicks inside until last weekend. I used an old wire dog crate to put the newbies in with food and water inside the other coop, allowing everyone the ability to get to know one another. I then waited a week (mainly until I had a day off but also was recommended by others to wait atleast 4-5 days) before allowing the smaller chicks out with the older ones. There were some squabbles and pecking order made known, but all but 4 of my older birds accepted the younger ones. I do also need to input that my "baby" flock also has a rooster that did a great job fending off the older birds from pecking the little girls too bad. Way to go Captain Morgan!! The 4 older birds that wouldn't play nice are now in the crate and for sale on Craigslist. They are Silver Laced Wyandottes and started to really just pick on everyone else after that. Now 2 days later you can't even tell the little ones werent always with the older ones.
 

Happy Chooks

Free Ranging
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Jul 9, 2009
40,417
3,553
626
Northern CA
My Coop
My Coop
How old are the new chicks going to be? If they are day old chicks, there's a HUGE difference in size with 12 week old chicks. I've mixed day old chicks to 6 week old chicks without any problems, but I'd worry about the new ones getting squished with 12 week old chicks. If they are fairly close in age (and size), then you shouldn't have a problem.
 

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