Adding pullets to an existing flock?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by whoami, Apr 8, 2011.

  1. whoami

    whoami New Egg

    9
    0
    7
    Mar 26, 2008
    I have 1 Easter egg layer hen, 1 banty rooster and two banty hens. I want to add some more full sized pullets to my flock.

    Questions - how long should I keep them separated to prevent the new girls from being bullied and beat up on?

    Can I mix starter feed in with the Layena I already have for the full grown birds?

    Thanks!
     
  2. ScissorChick

    ScissorChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 17, 2010
    Under Your bed
    How long should I keep them separated?
    Atleast a week or two. Keep them in a see through cage in the coop

    so that everyone can see the new members of the flock, but noone gets hurt.
    After a a week or so of that, You can let them free range together (with you

    near by) and see if theres any fighting. Or you can sneak them on the roosts
    at night. Wake up and noone even notices the difference. [​IMG]

    Can I mix starter feed in with the Layena?
    I would just wait until the chicks are fully 'weaned' off the starter feed.

    Are you going to raise the new guys as chicks or buy them?



    ScissorChick
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2011
  3. whoami

    whoami New Egg

    9
    0
    7
    Mar 26, 2008
    We're going to buy pullets that are 10 weeks old or so. We dont' have a good place to keep chicks warm right now.
     
  4. Snegurochka

    Snegurochka Out Of The Brooder

    99
    5
    31
    Apr 7, 2011
    Southern Indiana
    It could take a lot longer, depending on the personality of your birds. We've always added in new chicks to the flock every other year, and I don't remember how long it used to take before we had the rooster, but when I introduced Penguin (who was by herself) the rooster wouldn't accept her until she starting laying, which unfortunately wasn't until she was almost 10 months old. The last three I added, I left them in their own pen for about two months, if I recall correctly, but I was probably too paranoid about it. I've never had a bantie so I don't know if the roos are nicer; I would at least keep the pullets separate until they're almost the same size as him (or the EE hen, if she's mean). If worse comes to worst, you can always lock up the offenders in cages instead of the pullets, so they have a chance to learn their way around the coop.

    My set-up is a frame that fits under my nestboxes, covered with chicken wire, that I keep them in; and during the day I put them in a tractor beside the chicken run, so they'll be forced to look at each other.

    For feed, you don't want to give the pullets layer feed until they are laying, because the calcium will stunt their growth. But if you have leftover mash at that point, the grownup hens will love to help them finish it off, and it definitely wouldn't hurt to blend it in to make the transition easier.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by