Chicks and hens together?


12 Years
Feb 27, 2011
I'm new to this urban chicken farming. I want to get 2 laying hens for eggs immediately. My girlfriend wants to raise a couple chicks because it's fun I guess. When the chicks are of laying age, is it possible to assimilate them slowly to the adults without them getting picked on? the woman at the feed store said no but there has to be a way, especially if my adults are docile breeds.

Is it possible?

Dont know what the feed store gal was thinking... But yes you can assimilate them. Provided you have enough space for them. I used to put the chicks after they fledged out enough to fly, but before they were full grown into a pen within the run. Gave them a couple of days to look each other over then let them comingle. I now know that I should wait a week or two of quarantine before adding new chickens but once they go in to the pen there will be some establishing of pecking order no matter how docile they are.
cool thanks.

We're thinking of black australorps, barred rocks and rhode island reds for their calm and friendly personality. mypetchicken's breed selector said those three were great layers with "sweet" personalities, whatever that means. can chickens be sweet?
I certainly think so. I just got some Australorps, and Barred Rocks last week. The Australorps are by far sweeter (which is what most people will tell you) they are curious and social and not afraid of people at all. I have two mutt hens one is some type of Buff Orp mix and she is the sweetest. The other is a Delaware cross and she is a demon. Demonic mean mean hen. LOL But she get's really excited to see us so I can't dislike her too much.
I agree that they can be put in. I have a 10 week old chick that was in a sectioned off portion of the coop. She could go out into the big pen, but the big girls could not get into her section. So she would mingle with them occationally. Now they get along fine. She is still on the bottom, but they tolerate her.

She is a barred rock chick and my favorite by far! When I open the coop to clean it or add food, she hops into my lap. When we have them out, she follows me around the yard like a little puppy and if I call her, she will come to me! We got her at 6 weeks too! If I have to replace any of our chickens, they will be barred rock!
i can't find many hens on craigslist, so another forum member here has some sussex and wynandotte. she also has orpington and balvender (probably mispelled). i think the sussex and wynandotte fit my need for docile birds who lay eggs well. Although i'd really like astrolorp/barred rocks. Would the others suffice just fine?

it may seem silly, but i also want to be able to hold them and have them not be afraid of me. I like to treat all animals like dogs in the sense that i want to pet everything haha.
i had a broody hen that just sat on eggs in the laying boxes, i put 3 day old chicks under her, made a small cardboard fence to keep them in, after 2 weeks or so, the momma started taking them on excursions to meet the other hens, she protected them if the others were grumpy.

Space is the key to successful integration, not age of the birds IMO, the more space they have the easier it is for the chicks to run away if they are being pecked. In my experience, hens dont chase like dogs on a scent, they peck, the pecked leg it away and the hen doing the pecking gets on with what she felt was her rightful area to investigate.

If you are buying chicks from a store that told you they couldnt be integrated together i suggest you spend a couple days hanging around on here to get your info, not the feedstore!
oh and the key to petting them is the amount of time they are handled as chicks, the more the better. I handled a couple of mine, they follow me around the yard now, the others i didnt and they are more independent. When they get to mature egg laying age, they will do a funny "egg dance" where they squat and stamp their feet (its time to be mated in their mind) they are easier to catch when they squat because they dont run away.

The breed is less important than the time you spend handling them, although i must say, i dont have any of them, i have heard nothing but sweet things about orpingtons
I raise out my baby's and then once they are grown out maybe by month 6 or so . I move them into one of either my breeding pens or my laying for eggs pen. My hubby has me have one pen with no rooster because he doesn't want to eat fertile eggs. They might pick on each other but I watch and if it gets bad put in time out for the one being mean. Never had any issues. I like all the breeds , really all that matters is you handled them as chicks. Mine see my coming and get excited. They love treats. If i had to pick just one or two breeds I just couldn't do it, they are all great ! Orphingtons are really super sweet so never could go wrong with them in your flock.

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