Can I put different age/group chickens together?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by LeafLover, Jun 16, 2011.

  1. LeafLover

    LeafLover Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 16, 2011
    Tennessee
    We have two different groups of chickens that have two different house they sleep in at night. We'd like to put the younger ones in with the grownups w/o trouble. Make them share the same "nest". Will they fight? How should i introduce them?
     
  2. juliawitt

    juliawitt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Not without a problem. You need to integrate them. Place your young chickens in some type of cage where they can see out and your big chickens can see in. This allows everyone to see each other but have no contact. This will allow them to get to know each other. Big chickens will hurt your young chickens. So it is important to let them first meet with a barrier in between. I do this for about a week. I have a segregation area built within my coop. I use this for a second stage brooder and for sick or injured hens. After a week, I start letting them mix in the run with me sitting outside with a water sprayer. If the big hens start acting aggressive, they get a squirt of water. I do not leave them alone, without me there to protect them for several days and then I only let them together for short times. After about 3 or 4 days, depending on how things are going, I will leave the segregation door open at night. This allows an opportunity for the little ones to go out into the big coop while the big girls are sleeping. If all seems well, then integration is over. If hostility is still going on, I go back to watching with the squirter. I've never had integration take longer than 7 days.......yet. Make sure you have plenty of areas the young girls can hide in. They need to be able to get away from the head chickens. There will be some discipline given.....that is how the pecking order is established. You can't stop that, but you will need to make certain it doesn't get out of hand. Patience is the key....good luck![​IMG] segregation area within the coop.


    [​IMG] Me watching integration with my water sprayer close at hand.
     
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  3. LeafLover

    LeafLover Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 16, 2011
    Tennessee
    Actually, our chickens are "free roamers" lol, our backyard is their backyard. They never get close to each other, and today I was carrying one of the younger ones and when i set it down an adult tried to...get it. I'm not sure if it thought it was food or what, but i shooed it off and they went to their own stuff. LOL the water is a good idea! Def. better than me getting in the middle of a fight. [​IMG]
     
  4. Tripp16

    Tripp16 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 26, 2011
    North Carolina
    Hi, my personal opinion is to wait until the chicks are the same size as the others. I know that seems like it takes foreverrrr but the integratioon process is much much easier.

    I just tried to inegrate some young pullets with my older hens and they didnt like it one bit. Forced the littles into the corner of the run. But Juliawitts way may work. Every flock is different! [​IMG]

    Good luck!
     
  5. teresitadesoto

    teresitadesoto New Egg

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    Oct 20, 2014
    I have no problem with integrating them, but how do you do with the food?, for example, laying hens I give them laying food and the youngers I give them Chicken Start . I need help Thanks
     
  6. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    My Coop
    The simplest solution for a mixed flock is to feed the entire flock a grower/flock-raiser/all-flock feed and offer free choice calcium (oyster shell) for birds who are actively laying to take as they need it.
     

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