Birds of different ages

Sheila

In the Brooder
12 Years
Jul 23, 2007
60
0
39
NW MA
Have 25 layers hens, 25 8-week-olds, 25 2-week olds, and am expecting 25 more in 6 weeks.

The 2-weeks olds were an order I canceled because it couldn't be filled earlier, and I replaced it with the chicks that are now 8 weeks old. Imagine my surprise when the p.o. called 2 weeks ago to tell me my chicks were here. I caved, even though someone at Ideal didn't remove the first order. At this point, I don't know whether to keep or sell them, but my immediate question is ...

I want to incorporate the 8-week olds into the adult flock in another month. I'm guessing that when they are outside, it won't be too much of a problem, but how badly will the older birds pick on them at 12 weeks, and does it ever get out of hand. The older hens are RIR and the younger are Black Sex Links.

I'm thinking of withholdling oyster shell for 1-2 months after incorporating them. I read that it's bad for the bones of younger birds that are not close to laying. It shouldn't hurt the older ones to not have it for a little bit.
 

Tuffoldhen

Flock Mistress
12 Years
Jan 30, 2007
7,502
76
301
WV
Quote:I never put my pullets in with adults til they are the same size and can defend themselves at 16 weeks or at point of lay. Adult chickens can be cruel to the younger set. Also make sure they have a places to get away from the older ones. If you do put them in sooner be sure to have extra feeders and waterers out, adult hens can starve out young pullets. This is just how I do it here at my henhouse, I'm sure there are other opinions.
 

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