At what age should I introduce 8-week old pullets to one-year-old hens?

Peggysaurus

Songster
Sep 24, 2019
115
224
127
Spotsylvania, Virginia
Hey, guys. This is only my second batch of chickens, so I am completely new to introducing chickens to each other. I currently have four 8-week old pullets and five one-year-old hens. Is there a certain age I should wait for before introducing them to each other. Or should I introduce them to each other now? Thanks, guys! :)
 

TwoChicksChix

Songster
May 29, 2019
384
684
146
West Palm Beach Florida
You want to fully integrate them when the new pullets are about the same size as the hens.

To start, I usually will put the new ones in a cage or small part of the enclosure so that they can see each other but can’t harm each other.

Then after a week or so I will let them start to integrate to the coop so that they can meet and such, making sure there is enough room and hiding places for the little ones.

There will be squabbles, but that’s just pecking order.

But yeah, your pullets need to be around 4-5 months before you should introduce them.
 

Peggysaurus

Songster
Sep 24, 2019
115
224
127
Spotsylvania, Virginia
You want to fully integrate them when the new pullets are about the same size as the hens.

To start, I usually will put the new ones in a cage or small part of the enclosure so that they can see each other but can’t harm each other.

Then after a week or so I will let them start to integrate to the coop so that they can meet and such, making sure there is enough room and hiding places for the little ones.

There will be squabbles, but that’s just pecking order.

But yeah, your pullets need to be around 4-5 months before you should introduce them.
Thanks for the info! I did put the pullets chicken coop right next to the hens chicken coop (since they moved outside a few nights ago) and it's going great so far.
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
5 Years
Jul 3, 2016
17,194
33,803
1,062
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
My Coop
They're likely too big for early integration at this point (mine would already be in the coop with the adults) so yes it'd probably be better to wait until they're closer in size to the adults. You can start introducing them now by housing them next to the adults so they can start seeing and getting used to each other.
 

slordaz

hatchaholic
5 Years
Apr 15, 2015
3,456
6,394
602
Idaho
Mine integrated fine but they had a lot of space to escape and hide. they would go back to where they were growing up in , first adventure out with the flock was supervised , When I least expected it about had a heart attack, they were missing,found em roosted lower in the coop with the main flock, they now just follow a short time after the adults go in., they were in pen where they flock could come talk to them and they could both see each other for about 2 weeks before had a chance to do a supervised yard time. Broody raised they are out with the flock immediately, but my flock is now scared of baby chicks cause they know just how mean a broody can be, they've done pretty good this way
 
Last edited:

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
99,231
138,813
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Pics of your coops and runs might garner some specific suggestions.

But here's some tips about.....
Integration Basics:
It's all about territory and resources(space/food/water).
Existing birds will almost always attack new ones to defend their resources.
Understanding chicken behaviors is essential to integrating new birds into your flock.

Confine new birds within sight but physically segregated from older/existing birds for several weeks, so they can see and get used to each other but not physically interact.

In adjacent runs, spread scratch grains along the dividing mesh, best if mesh is just big enough for birds to stick their head thru, so they get used to eating together.

The more space, the better.
Birds will peck to establish dominance, the pecked bird needs space to get away. As long as there's no copious blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down and beaten unmercilessly, let them work it out. Every time you interfere or remove new birds, they'll have to start the pecking order thing all over again.

Multiple feed/water stations. Dominance issues are most often carried out over sustenance, more stations lessens the frequency of that issue.

Places for the new birds to hide 'out of line of sight'(but not a dead end trap) and/or up and away from any bully birds. Roosts, pallets or boards leaned up against walls or up on concrete blocks, old chairs tables, branches, logs, stumps out in the run can really help. Lots of diversion and places to 'hide' instead of bare wide open run.


Oh, and...Welcome to BYC! @BreezeBri337
Where in this world are you located?
Climate, and time of year, is almost always a factor.
Please add your general geographical location to your profile.
It's easy to do, (laptop version shown), then it's always there!
upload_2019-9-29_6-35-27.png
 

Mrs. K

Free Ranging
11 Years
Nov 12, 2009
9,295
12,500
636
western South Dakota
Add a lot of clutter to your run. A lot of clutter. If a bird standing in any spot in your run, and can see and be seen by every other bird, it is too much open space. And is boring for your birds, and dramatically reduces their space as you are not using the vertical space.

Adding ladders, old chairs, totes on the side, scraps of plywood, roosts, platforms such as pallets up on cement blocks, or pallets leaned against the walls will really help with all flock behavior, and be essential when adding new birds.

Then add the new chicks, with the big birds locked out for a day, so they can explore with out being chased, get a feel for the place. Then close to dark, add the big girls. You are basically doubling your flock, so I hope you really have enough room in the coop.

If you get a bird that is heartless, pull that bird out for a couple of days and put her where ever you have the babies. Try adding her or them in a week later. If that does not work, you may have too many birds for your set up, and will need to reduce the number of birds.

Mrs K
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom