Can I put Lone Hen With 3 Six Week Old Chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Bantam Username, Nov 20, 2011.

  1. Bantam Username

    Bantam Username Chillin' With My Peeps

    562
    2
    113
    Aug 3, 2011
    Wiltshire, UK
    I have a group of nearly 10 week olds outside, unfortunately 2 of them are roos and need rehoming. This will leave a lone hen.
    Inside I have a group that are almost 6 weeks and need to go out soon, this is also a group of 2 roos and a hen.
    When I rehome the 2 roos outside, will I be able to straight away put the younger 2 roos and younger hen in with the one older lone hen outside? If not, how can I make it work? As the youngest roos I am keeping and I don't want the older hen to be on her own as she never has been. [​IMG]
     
  2. Jay262

    Jay262 Chillin' With My Peeps

    421
    5
    131
    Apr 21, 2009
    You might wanna keep her in a cage for the first while so she gets used to the others. If you dont have one put her in at night leave the light off. Then just hope she doesnt kill your little guys. Hens can be just as bad as roosters when it comes to killing other smaller chickens.
     
  3. Bantam Username

    Bantam Username Chillin' With My Peeps

    562
    2
    113
    Aug 3, 2011
    Wiltshire, UK
    There's not much difference in size except for one very tiny roo as they are only a few weeks apart in age, would it be better to put her in with them, or them in with her?
     
  4. Jay262

    Jay262 Chillin' With My Peeps

    421
    5
    131
    Apr 21, 2009
    Im not so sure it makes a difference either way you go there just make sure to do it in the dark i find works best or keep her caged for a bit so there used to each other for about a week.
     
  5. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    39,707
    1,236
    516
    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    I would give them an area to get used to each other. Then watch how she reacts. She may be fine, or she may try to bully them. You just have to watch carefully. I can tell you though, that the sooner you integrate them, the easier it is.
     
  6. goldies99

    goldies99 Chillin' With My Peeps

    582
    4
    111
    Jul 22, 2011
    put them together and watch them for a while...i had 2 new hens and they did fine with the younger chicks....and no so good with the older hens!...
    just she how shes acts...she may be fine
     
  7. Bantam Username

    Bantam Username Chillin' With My Peeps

    562
    2
    113
    Aug 3, 2011
    Wiltshire, UK
    I can't really put her near the younger ones as she is outside with 2 roos and the younger ones are inside and not ready to go out just yet. Its just that I don't want her to be alone when her 2 roos go to their new homes and I was wondering if there was any way around it. [​IMG]
     
  8. Jay262

    Jay262 Chillin' With My Peeps

    421
    5
    131
    Apr 21, 2009
    I tried putting one of my silkies out with a couple smaller younger chickens one day last week long story short i culled the silkie later they didnt take to him to well poor guy. I still recommend you get a cage personally. They got along fine for the first hour i kept checking on them then a hour later not so much.
     
  9. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

    9,923
    2,898
    421
    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    You may not have any problem. When you decide it's time to put the youngsters with the older hen, stick close by and watch. A lot of the time, any conflict will happen in the first few minutes.

    If you do see that the older hen is determined to be a bully, which is possible, but rare, you can take some chicken wire scraps and fashion a holding pen in the corner of the run to give them all time to get accustomed without having to get into the pecking thing.

    I merged my very first six-week olds with two adult hens by just sticking the youngsters in the coop a few hours before roosting time and shutting out the hens until the last minute. The hens entered the coop and hopped up onto the perch beside the babies without any incident. They were all fine from then on.

    They're all different. You just need to put them together and watch how things unfold and take it from there.
     
  10. bobbieschicks

    bobbieschicks Chicken Tender

    4,490
    82
    251
    Jun 24, 2011
    King George, VA
    My Coop
    My 1st merging of chicks went pretty well - I put my then 6 week old chicks into their temporary coop which is a wired off part of the big coop. That way they got to know the big chicks who were 9 weeks old at the time without getting pecked on. Within two weeks I had allowed them all to be around each other enough that I felt I could let them play together in the run. So I let the bigs and littles have run time together and eventually everyone got along - there were some tense moments when the bigs would chase off the littles, but nothing deadly. At the time I had 4 roos and a pullet who were older and I merged in 3 chick size pullets.

    Later I rehomed 3 roos and kept the remaining roo & pullet who quickly bonded with the 3 younger pullets. Now there is a bit of animosity going on as my oldest approaches point of laying & my roo has begun to feel his oats. But that's to be expected.

    I have a new clutch to merge shortly and I've laid the groundwork by putting that clutch into the wired off coop side. They will turn 6 weeks old this Weds. so the heat lamp will be phased out and they will merge into the big coop side within the next couple of weeks - I'm shooting for mid December to have them merged!

    My advice is to keep a close eye on them but don't intercede unless things turn brutal/bloody. It can look pretty scarey when the hen in charge gets aggressive about her pecking order and the newbies try to move up the ladder, but usually the babies will back down and hide until they feel more confident. So be sure to give them a hiding place to get away from any bigs who might want to assert their rank.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by