Blending Flocks

BamaBull

Chirping
7 Years
Apr 15, 2012
17
19
92
Tillman's Corner, AL
My Coop
My Coop
I have six red sex links that are approx. 2 1/2 years old. I also have another small flock of six consisting of two cuckoo(sp?) marans, two buff orpingtons, and a single americanus & white silkie that are about 2 1/2 months old. When & how do I begin to integrate the flocks?
 

ceceuu

Songster
6 Years
Mar 5, 2014
90
17
126
Colorado
I have the same type question I just posted on the raising chicken topic. My question is if it is safe to introduce a young rooster to my hens. The 8 pullets are now 8 weeks old and I think to introduce the rooster whenever the hens are old enough to put into their run full time. It is cold here and they currently get to go out for a few hours on days it is warm. The rooster belongs to my neighbor and is several months older than my hens. He is currently living with 17 or 18 hens and two other rooster- one old and one his age. What age should the hens be when the rooster is introduced? Is there any danger to putting the rooster with young pullets that are not laying yet? Just wondering. Totally ignorant. I love my chickens!!! These are my first and if I knew how much fun they are I would have gotten them years ago. I'm totally in love!
 

ChickensAreSweet

Heavenly Grains for Hens
9 Years
Jun 8, 2010
15,100
621
398
Pacific NW- where the Douglas Firs grow
The optimal time to integrate chicks with hens is at 16 weeks of age. If you integrate sooner than that, it is possible that the adults will kill the chicks. However, depending on the personalities of the hens/roosters, it may be possible to get away with it sooner than that.
 

5 Acre Rooster

Songster
6 Years
Apr 18, 2013
595
31
111
North Missouri
Different people have different rules. And they all swear its the only way. Personally I add my young (Weather permitting) to the flock at 5-6 weeks. Although I used playpen type method with a rabbit cage. After 2-3 days I let them out and wait around for 10-20 mins make sure nobody is extra bullyish.
I only keep good tempered birds though, no matter what. My roosters don't give them two glances until they get a lot closer to maturity. Occasionally a hen will get extra interested. but they seem to let them be just fine. Mabe they know its the stew pot if they don't get along.
 

donrae

Hopelessly Addicted
Premium member
9 Years
Jun 18, 2010
31,453
3,900
581
Southern Oregon
Different people have different rules. And they all swear its the only way. Personally I add my young (Weather permitting) to the flock at 5-6 weeks. Although I used playpen type method with a rabbit cage. After 2-3 days I let them out and wait around for 10-20 mins make sure nobody is extra bullyish.
I only keep good tempered birds though, no matter what. My roosters don't give them two glances until they get a lot closer to maturity. Occasionally a hen will get extra interested. but they seem to let them be just fine. Mabe they know its the stew pot if they don't get along.
I'm not sure who's posts you've been reading here, but many of us go out of our way to emphasize animals are trial and error so much of the time. There are no hard and fast rules. Anyone that says their way is the only way needs to be taken with a big grain of salt.

When I've tried to add 2 month old birds, I've had dead chicks. I've had much better luck around 4 months. A lot depends on your set up. If at all possible, put the littles inside a smaller enclosure either in or next to the mature birds' coop. Let them stay that way for a good few weeks. Then when you let the littles out, it's not such a big deal.
 

ceceuu

Songster
6 Years
Mar 5, 2014
90
17
126
Colorado
Thank you all for taking to the time to reply. After talking it over with input from this forum and some other friends that are in the know we decided to tell our neighbor we don't want the rooster. He was fine with that. So thank you all for your help.
 
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