adding new pullets to the flock - when and how?

little white

In the Brooder
11 Years
Mar 20, 2008
Is there a "best way" to add my two chicks to my flock of three hens? The two pullets are about 10 weeks old and live in an adjoining coop right now, where the hens can see them. One hen seems like she can't wait to peck their little lights out. Is there a certain age at which they'd be able to cope, or fit in, without too much violence?
Most folks wait until they are 10 - 12 weeks old, so it sounds like they should be fine. It is great that they can see each other.

Here are some suggestions from another thread:

I put birds, young or old, that I am trying to introduce in a cage within the bigger chicken yard so that the birds will get used to seeing each other without being able to kill each other. I do this for 1 - 2 weeks. Then let them out for a few hours per days gradually increasing the time but have some hiding places. For younger birds, I try to make the hiding places low enough that the more adult birds can't easy follow the babies into the hiding places.

Another plan I've used is keeping all the older birds in a separate pen and letting the new birds have the regular pen for a few days. Then slowly bring the old flock back into the regular pen a few birds at a time. ...still good to have a few hiding places available.

Another plan is introducing newer birds when everybody is free ranging.... makes for a kinda "no man's land"....again with hiding places available. Will need to separate at night... would be good if they could at least hear/see each other at night. (separate cage within the larger coop)



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