1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Flock integration question

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by LPOHHomestead, Jul 19, 2011.

  1. LPOHHomestead

    LPOHHomestead Out Of The Brooder

    45
    0
    32
    Jul 19, 2011
    Indiana
    We currently have 11 12 week old Silkies and 13 3 week old chicks (RIRs, Buff Orps and Barred Rocks). Over the weekend we started letting the babies in with the older Silkies. They have their own little pen in the coop and the door is just big enough for them to go in and out of. If a Silkie bothers one of them, they run in, but in general they are getting along very well together. The Silkies will let them eat out of their feeder, but the chicks have their own feed and water inside their little space.

    We are currently not getting eggs and likely won't be until later this fall. I have the opportunity to get a few mature hens that are currently laying - either Golden Comets, Black Australorp or Black Sex Link. Should I? Can I introduce them into my current flock? How will they do with the babies? That is my biggest concern. The Silkies are sizable enough that they should do fine, but how will the mature hens treat the babies?

    I've read a lot about introducing younger chicks into an older flock, but what about introducing older hens into younger flock? Anyone have experience with this?


    Thanks!
    LPOH Homestead
    www.littlepatchofheavenhomestead.blogspot.com
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

    34,028
    449
    448
    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I wouldn't chance it unless I had another coop and run to put the older ones in, in case of disaster. To protect your current flock, you'd need a separate setup for a month of quarantine, anyway.
     
  3. dianaross77

    dianaross77 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 10, 2010
    Grand Blanc, MI
    I agree they should be put in quarantine first. But If the big girls are outnumbered by your chicks, you'll likely succeed. It would be really difficult for a few grown hens to pick on any one chick enough to do serious. Hidey-holes are helpful, places to hide where the little girls can fit but not the big ones. I used a medium sized tote with a silkie sized mouse hole. When things got rough, the silkies would duck under into the tote but the big girls couldn't reach them and didn't care about trying to either.
     
  4. theCandEs

    theCandEs Out Of The Brooder

    34
    0
    22
    Sep 4, 2010
    We just mixed our 3 month old babies (8) with our 1 1/2 year old hens (9). Uh, they don't like each other too much. The older ones are mean and bossy to the younger ones, but they do tolerate each other. We didn't let the babies in with the big ones until they seemed about the same size.
     
  5. LPOHHomestead

    LPOHHomestead Out Of The Brooder

    45
    0
    32
    Jul 19, 2011
    Indiana
    Thanks for the replies, everyone. I think we're going to wait until the babies are bigger. They are too precious to me to put them in an unsafe situation - especially since I would be bringing the trouble to their own house, you know? Maybe we'll look into it again when they are more mature.

    It sure would be nice to collect a few eggs everyday though!


    Thanks!
    LPOHHomestead
    www.littlepatchofheavenhomestead.blogspot.com
     
  6. stubbornhill

    stubbornhill Chillin' With My Peeps

    469
    0
    109
    Apr 11, 2011
    Shapleigh, Maine
    Definately not trying to change your mind because ultimately it is your choice and you have to live with the results either way. But I did just want to mention that if your chicks are 11-13 weeks old now, after a month of quarentine of the new birds, they will be that much older and bigger. During that time period, your "new" hens will be laying eggs (give them a few days to adjust) and if you put the new ones in a set up near the younger ones, they will all see each other and partially get used to each other. That way when you intergrate, part of the job is done already. We added our younger at about 12 weeks. They out numbered the older hens. Everything went well but I must admit, the three older hens that we have left act like they are not part of the new flock even though they all live together. Best wishes either way! [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by