chickens of different ages...i read the three week rule but...

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by haTHOR, Mar 28, 2009.

  1. haTHOR

    haTHOR Songster

    Mar 28, 2009
    Near Asheville, NC
    at what point can chickens of different ages go together? i mean obviously the older ones will always be more than three weeks older than the youngers...but is there a point where they are all grown up and *can* be together?
  2. hollyk

    hollyk Songster

    Nov 21, 2008
    Canton, Texas
    I am not sure what would happen with chickens that stayed in the coop all day together, mine free range. They only come to the coop at night. I have had several batches of chicks come throught the brooder. At about 6 weeks I lift the brooder which then becomes a grower box. The little guys can have food water and shelter and the big ladies cannot get to them. As they age, the young ones venture out of the coop. Basically all goes smooth. The little ones learn quick to stay out of reach. Usually, at about 10 weeks the young ones stop using the box and start to roost with the big ones on the big girl perches. Once they reach sexual maturity they all start to hang out together. I have had no real problems. Yes, the large ones are aggressive, but not to a point of harm. Given that they free range, the young flock has plenty of space to find bugs and greens away from the older flocks.
  3. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    Here is my story on my experiences putting my pullets with my hens. I tried putting them together when the pullets were about 12 weeks old and the hens were about 1 1/2 yrs old. I put lots of scratch out for them. It didn't go to well. The hens chased and picked on the pullets terrible so I separated them. They had been in different coops and adjacent runs for over a month prior to the first time I tried to put them together. When I put them together the last time when the pullets were about 20 weeks, I had two hens that were terrible and jumping on the pullets and pulling their feathers out. I took the two most aggressive hens out and separated them from the rest. They were put into a separate pen for a week where all the rest of the chickens could walk around them see them but couldn't touch. When I did let them out, I put plenty of treats and scratch out hopefully to distract them. It worked for the most part, but for one of the hens. She was still very aggressive. When I saw her jump on one of the pullets I sprayed her with water from a hose that is next to the coop. She went running into the coop and didn't come out for awhile. I have repeated the hose caper a few times. She has calmed down since then. When the pullets were about 20 weeks old I switched coops and put the pullets in the hens house and the hens in the pullets coop and closed the runs so they couldn't interact but could still see each other. After another week went by I put them back together. It went fairly well. One of my goals was to try to get everyone to lay their eggs in the same coop and nest boxes. Now they all stay in the same coop. There was a little bickering in the beginning at roosting time but all is well now and they have worked out their pecking order.

    Sorry this turned out to be so lengthy

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