Adding pullets


In the Brooder
9 Years
Jul 12, 2010
Lancaster, CA
I have read some on this topic but then I got to thinking about it a little more. I have standard size chickens and silkie bantams. My 12 week old standards are about the size of the silkies but still peeping. Do they need to be the size of the standards before I can mix them or would it work now? I just lost 3 of them today because they flew over the fence so I am really wanting to get them out with the other chickens who will hopefully show them the ropes (after pecking at them of course) They have seen each other over the last week through the fence but not constantly.

Thanks, I know it's a pretty similar question to the common one!
It is never going to be "easy" to intergrate 2 flocks. I intergrated my chicks about the same age as yours are now. I had them side by side for weeks in the same coop, seperated by wire. If your birds have seen each other that's good but be prepared for the pecking order to be established and not so kindly either.

Many people do it after the existing flock has gone to roost. Then they put the younger ones in. In the morning everyone is together and it usually goes fairly well. I would suggest allowing them out into the run as soon as possible the next morning so everyone has as much room as possible to get out of each other's way. It helped my young ones when I put 2 feeders and waterers in the coop because the older ones will chase the young ones away from the food and water.

I watched the behaviors closely (it was stressful for them and me). I had to seperate 2 of the most aggressive hens for about a week. They were more tolerant after that. Now my younger pullets are 17 weeks old and they are still considered lower life forms to my hens but the battles have stopped. It is so important that you have enough space for each bird to keep things as calm as possible.

I do hope you will be able to intergrate them without too much problems.
When ever I add new to old, I do it at evening roost time and also supply additional feeders and waterers. My current flock came from the same place besides 2, but they didn't live together there. The bid standards would guard the food and water from the others. The Cochins would guard it from the babies. So, 3 areas with feed scattered and 2 waterers so that everyone had access. The adults get along now and roost next to each other, the babies are still separate (feathered but peeping still) because my New Hampshire is a !!tch. The Cochins do well enough with the babies.

If there's more issues than just minimal pecking, I do free range time together supervised, and increase the time, and start leaving them alone. When I have time for the process anyways. I do it the way I do new dogs, slowly, increasing exposure, always there to dictate until I know everything is settled.

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