Can I get day old chicks and put them with my pullets (12 weeks old)?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by MeineHuehner, Aug 8, 2010.

  1. MeineHuehner

    MeineHuehner In the Brooder

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    Since Mrs Fluffy is a rooster I would like to get a few more chicks ...will my barred rock and new england red welcome little ones? Do I have to keep them separate and for how long?
     

  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    You'll have to raise the babies until they are about the same size as your older birds. In most cases you can't put chicks safely with 3 month old birds and expect live chicks at the end of the day. Chickens can be vicious, so do expect some tusseling when it comes time to intergrate the young ones with the adults.
     
  3. jerseygirl1

    jerseygirl1 Crowing 9 Years

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    That seems like a big stretch in age, I wouldn't house themt ogether, but close enough so they see each other and graudally introduce them
     
  4. chics in the sun

    chics in the sun Songster

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    No, they will not. You have to keep them separated until they are closer in size. I have four full grown girls and two babies - 7 weeks and 9 weeks, I think, and I have gotten to where I can free range them together, with one of the big girls chasing and pecking at the babies for a few seconds, then leaving them alone again. If they are not their own babies, the will try to kill them. And my Barred Rock is the bossiest of all. I am now constructing an addition on my coop to keep the babies in that the big girls cannot get into.
     

  5. MeineHuehner

    MeineHuehner In the Brooder

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    So is it better to adopt full grown hens ?
     
  6. jerseygirl1

    jerseygirl1 Crowing 9 Years

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    I really don't think the age matters as much as you would think. It's the pecking order that the hens establish between themselves to show who is boss. Though, if the chicks are too young they will treat them as food. Sorry [​IMG]
    Also, if you're bringing new birds in they would need to be quarantined anyway from the existing flock for thirty days.
     
  7. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Yeah, life stage is more important than age per se. A 2 week old chick won't stand a chance in the face of pecking order with a bird who is 12 weeks old, but that 3 month-er can probably make it through the gauntlet of 5-6 month old hens only slightly beat up.

    Adopting adults you need to quarentine and you will still have pecking order battles till they figure it out. You'll just need to brood the little ones for 3 months or so, and provided enough space or range, you may be able to get them to share a coop earlier.
     

  8. Royd

    Royd Songster

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    Here's my observation, from my experience. My first group of hens are 15 months old, with a rooster. My second group, purchased, as biddies, in March,of this year, were allowed to freerange, with the older hens, mid June. They remained two completely diffferent flocks, and the younger birds would have to wait until dark thirty, to get on the roost, or be harrassed...Well, as I suspected, it would be the rooster, who forced the integration of the flock, once the pullets became mature enough to lay and breed, which has just happened, in the last couple of weeks. Although, they still hang together, in their peer groups, while grazing.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2010
  9. flowerfaerie1

    flowerfaerie1 In the Brooder

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    I just went through this problem when I had some of my chickens killed and wanted to replace them... With my first batch of chicks I raised them in a brooder in the house, what a mess! I was so happy when they finally went out to the coop. When I got the new baby chicks I couldn't bring myself to bring the brooder back inside. I put the brooder inside the coop with a big heavy firescreen over it. The baby chicks stayed in the brooder, with me checking on the constantly. Once they were getting bigger, around a month old, I waited until all the big chickens were out free ranging and I let the little birds out into the run and shut the door so that the big chickens couldn't get to them. I let them run around for an hour or two and then put them back in the brooder and opened the door again for the big chickens to get to their water and food. I did this every day, a little longer and a little longer. Then one day I left the run door open to see what would happen. My big chickens saw them and began to chase and hen peck them. So I had to do supervised chick sitting to make sure the big chickens left the babies alone. After a few days the big chickens got tired of chasing the little ones. So I would let them all free range together. Sometimes if a chick gets too close the big one will give it a peck, but nothing too serious. That same week we also stopped putting them back in their brooder. At night they would all go in together. The big chickens on the top pole and the teenagers on the bottom pole. The teens would try to go on the top pole and be pushed off by the bigger chickens, but after about a week they were allowed up.

    I then got 4 more baby chicks and started the process all over again! It went pretty smoothly and this time there were no problems with them all roosting on the top pole together. I think it just takes time and patience to introduce the new ones. I'm just happy they aren't in my house! [​IMG]
     

  10. toto65

    toto65 Chirping

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    I am dealing with the same issue. I have 8 17 week old Amberlinks, 2 roo's and 6 pullets that have been together always. I hatched 3 mutt chicks almost 6 weeks ago. They were in the same coop from the time the babies were 3 weeks old with the little ones being in a separate "brooder coop". When I got my new coop completed this weekend, I put them together. They are now 17 weeks and 6 weeks in age. The bigger pullets do chase the little ones around the coop and peck a bit but there have been no injuries as of today. the babies tend to slip in and out for food and water and mingle for a while, but this morning they were all hanging out peacefully together when I looked in the window. When I went in the coop it was a different story, one of the little ones ran up to me and the bigger girls didn't like it but as soon as I went out and closed the door, all was peaceful again. I have a second hatch of 8 that are 2 weeks old that will be added to the flock eventually, hopefully that goes ok, am debating about putting a samller pen in coop so that they can get used to each other before actually letting them mingle.
     

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