Additing two 8 week old pullets and an 8 week old Roo into my flock

mboyes

Hatching
Apr 17, 2020
7
1
9
Hi there,

Still pretty new at this chicken raising thing! I have an "established" flock, with an Americauna who is about 3 yrs old (Dot) and two golden sebrights (about 4 years old). (Cagney and Lacey). All are very docile, friendly, come when called. Dot and Cagney are still very nice laying hens, Lacy is very friendly and has stopped laying. They are free range chickens on our three acres but they stay pretty close to the one acre around our house. We have a coop set up in the barn, in a stall. All the girls get along and hang out during the day. They forage in the early morning and late afternoon and roost under our porch or in our flower bed during the day especially the heat of the day. I now have 8 week olds, an Easter Egger Roo and two Copper Marans, one of which may be a roo. They were raised inside longer than we anticipated as we had some late winter weather. In the last week they have been outside in our chicken "tractor" which is mobile, so we have had it out and about in our yard, where the older girls like to hang out. I put out treats for all of them so they can see and eat together with the safety of the tractor between them. The new kids are really interested in the big girls!

For the last two nights, they have slept in the coop with the older girls, but in an X pen, with their own little roost, food and water. Tonight, when I put the new additions in there, they were having quite the fit, squawking, talking, trying to fly out of the pen. I actually felt terrible leaving them in there!

We do have predators, which is why the flock is up at night in a metal barn with metal bars. During the day my older hens have done fine. I have lost a roo to a coyote several years ago and a hen to a hawk, Those are my only casualties over the last 5-6 year of having chickens (with my son).

My question is, at what age do you think it is okay to let the new additions roam with the big girls? My other hens taught my current girls the ropes about being outside. I am hoping these girls will teach the new kids!
 
Last edited:

igorsMistress

Frank and Abbys mom.
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Apr 9, 2013
22,885
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My Coop
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Hi there. Is there a way to extend the see but don't touch period? I usually put my chicks outside at a couple days old for the see/no touch period, then let them out with the flock around 4 weeks. They don't hang out with the older birds much until they get braver with age and size. Even then they hang out on the fringes or find a place they like to hang out and remain a separate flock until they start to integrate around the time they begin to lay. Integrating chicks without a broody to help can take a while. There will be chasing and pecking from the older girls but as long as they don't draw blood I don't intervene. I haven't ever had to.
 

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