Adding pullets to existing flock

Swan

Chirping
Aug 19, 2020
25
64
56
SC
My 17 week old pullets are not merging with.my 47 week.old hens. My older girls attack my pullets when they are close together. The girls are all free ranging in my backyard but I haven't been able to put them together in the same coop. I was hoping not to have to buy another coop. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
 

U_Stormcrow

Crossing the Road
Jun 7, 2020
8,189
28,642
776
North FL Panhandle Region / Wiregrass
Why so late to attempt integration, did you just get the pullets???


In any event, I routinely integrate less than 2 month old birds with a flock of birds some of which are more than a year old. The process is "see and be seen" and happens over a couple weeks when the birds are separated by netting but can see one another. I make sure both groups have plenty of room, and get fed at the same time in sight of one another, so they don't feel there is food or space competition.

I also have a small PVC and garden netting mobile "cage"? I move around. Somewhere around 10 days, my hatchlings go in it, and it goes in the yard/pasture where adult birds can see them but not touch. By thre eweeks, the hatchlings get moved to a grow out pen and house in the barn. It has some 5' t-posts with green snow fencing strung up. The young birds mostly stay inside, whjile the adult flock free ranges around them. Some of the adults have learned they can jump the fence, but its not been an issue so far. I continue to house the young birds in the barn (mostly so I can ensure they get a higher protein feed at night). By five weeks, I've taken the 4' door down, allowing birds to flow into, and out of, the grow out pen and free range with the adult flock.

at six weeks, I consider them fully integrated. They sleep in one of the adult hen houses in one of the two runs, and the next batch of hatchlings gets moved into the grow out pen.

Flock in signature below.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
13 Years
Feb 2, 2009
29,513
27,280
997
Southeast Louisiana
How many immature pullets, how many of the more mature girls? Have they been housed where they can see each other or are they complete strangers? How big, in feet or meters, are all of your coops or runs? Photos showing how they all tie together and the inside of your main coop could be really helpful. Where are the young pullets sleeping now? It is a lot easier to make specific suggestions if we know what you have to work with.

What you are describing doesn't sound all that unusual. Until my immature pullets mature enough they usually avoid the older hens. There are always exceptions but if they invade the personal space of the older hens they are likely to get pecked or worse so they avoid them. That's not a problem when they are free ranging but when they get locked into a tight space together it can get bad. My pullets usually reach that level about the time they start to lay.
 
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Swan

Chirping
Aug 19, 2020
25
64
56
SC
Why so late to attempt integration, did you just get the pullets???


In any event, I routinely integrate less than 2 month old birds with a flock of birds some of which are more than a year old. The process is "see and be seen" and happens over a couple weeks when the birds are separated by netting but can see one another. I make sure both groups have plenty of room, and get fed at the same time in sight of one another, so they don't feel there is food or space competition.

I also have a small PVC and garden netting mobile "cage"? I move around. Somewhere around 10 days, my hatchlings go in it, and it goes in the yard/pasture where adult birds can see them but not touch. By thre eweeks, the hatchlings get moved to a grow out pen and house in the barn. It has some 5' t-posts with green snow fencing strung up. The young birds mostly stay inside, whjile the adult flock free ranges around them. Some of the adults have learned they can jump the fence, but its not been an issue so far. I continue to house the young birds in the barn (mostly so I can ensure they get a higher protein feed at night). By five weeks, I've taken the 4' door down, allowing birds to flow into, and out of, the grow out pen and free range with the adult flock.

at six weeks, I consider them fully integrated. They sleep in one of the adult hen houses in one of the two runs, and the next batch of hatchlings gets moved into the grow out pen.

Flock in signature below.
Pulleys were gotten at ?1 week and placed in a separate pen to allow them to grow. I only have 3 hens. I read to keep them separated for several weeks to prevent them from being killed. I have tried to place them in the only coop I have but they were attacked by one of the hens. This is my 1st yet with chickens. Just want them to share one coop.
 

3KillerBs

Addict
13 Years
Jul 10, 2009
19,297
55,199
1,266
North Carolina Sandhills
My Coop
My Coop
Pulleys were gotten at ?1 week and placed in a separate pen to allow them to grow. I only have 3 hens. I read to keep them separated for several weeks to prevent them from being killed. I have tried to place them in the only coop I have but they were attacked by one of the hens. This is my 1st yet with chickens. Just want them to share one coop.

Here are some helpful articles on integration:

https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/integrating-new-birds-at-4-weeks-old.72603/
https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/my-coop-brooder-and-integration.74591/
https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/introducing-new-chickens-using-the-“see-but-don’t-touch”-method.67839/
https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/adding-to-your-flock.47756/
 

Swan

Chirping
Aug 19, 2020
25
64
56
SC
The coop holds up to 6 hens. It is L77 inches x W37 inches x H46 inches. My 3 hens (Asa Browns) fit comfortably with room to spare. My pullets are in a cage meant for temporary use. It has a roof & back but no sides or front covering. It measures L47 in x H24 in x W24 in. No nesting boxes. The pullets are both Coco Marans. All my girls can freely roam my backyard so they are used to sharing that space. The pullets will get about 2-3 feet close to my hens. I appreciate any help so that I can get them in the coop before they start laying eggs.
 

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rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
6 Years
Jul 3, 2016
20,585
43,166
1,142
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
My Coop
The coop holds up to 6 hens. It is L77 inches x W37 inches x H46 inches. My 3 hens (Asa Browns) fit comfortably with room to spare. My pullets are in a cage meant for temporary use. It has a roof & back but no sides or front covering. It measures L47 in x H24 in x W24 in. No nesting boxes. The pullets are both Coco Marans. All my girls can freely roam my backyard so they are used to sharing that space. The pullets will get about 2-3 feet close to my hens. I appreciate any help so that I can get them in the coop before they start laying eggs.
Recommendation on here is 4 sq ft per bird inside the coop, 1 linear ft per bird on the roost and 1 sq ft of ventilation per bird.

The actual coop is just the upper enclosed space, minus nest boxes, so that's what we'd need measurements for. My guess based off the coop + run size is the coop is maybe 3'x3', which is good enough for 2 hens (manufacturers of these tiny coops estimate size based on legal minimums, aka factory farm conditions). Integration is going to be more difficult because of this, as you simply don't have space to allow the new birds to get away from the old ones.
 

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