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Have 15 babies - 8 weeks old, can I add 3 - year old hens?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by prairie mom, May 20, 2011.

  1. prairie mom

    prairie mom Out Of The Brooder

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    May 6, 2011
    First, this board is great. I have been reading here since the day I brought the babies home!

    I started out with 16 from a straight run, day old, batch of chicks in March. One of the EE's had a cross beak that although we tried to help out, just never grew, and finally after four weeks, we had to cull as he was starving to death. (Man was that ever hard, as of course the "special one" was our favorite!! Thank the LORD my husband did it for me.) So, we now have 15 happy, healthy birds; one EE--roo, two Rhode Island Reds--one pullet one roo, two Australorps--both pullets?, two New Hampshires--one pullet one roo, three Golden Campines--one pullet two roos, one Golden laced Wyandotte--pullet?, and four Barred Rocks--four roos. Note: my gender guesses are from spending the last eight weeks reading all the byc breed and gender threads!! LOL

    Now, my question(s) for you are; I have an opportunity to purchase three healthy, full grown, Barred Rock, laying hens on Saturday. Should I?

    My plan to integrate them with the babies is -- to pen them separately, in the same area, so they can see and hear each other for a day or two. Then put them all together in the big girl coop at the same time. Babies are in their big brooder (no heat lamps anymore) in the garage. So I would make another caged off area for the big girls too in the garage. Should I do this set up longer in case the big girls have some sort of chicken disease? I do plan on dousing the new chickens from beak to toenails, a few times, with food grade Diatomaceous earth upon bringing them home.

    And do you think the pecking order would be less harsh to work out if everyone went into the big coop (brand new) at the same time?

    Thank you in advance, Chicken People!

    ~Rosie
     
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    The pecking order issue will be tough, but what is in your favor is that there are so few adults compared to the number of juveniles.

    I would not put the new hens into air exchange contact with the young flock. I'd keep them separated for awhile. Different flocks have different diseases and I'd would hate to see you put a couple of Typhoid Marys in/next/near to your present bunch. By the time the "all clear" signal flag flies, your younger ones will be 16 weeks and should be well able to defend themselves at an outdoor introduction.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2011
  3. prairie mom

    prairie mom Out Of The Brooder

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    May 6, 2011
    Thank you, Fred's Hens. [​IMG]

    Okay, so if I understand you correctly, I should go ahead and move babies out to the big girl coop on Saturday as planned, and put the new girls in the garage for about 8 weeks? Then on week 16 introduce the new girls to the flock?

    ~Rosie
     
  4. prairie mom

    prairie mom Out Of The Brooder

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    May 6, 2011
    Oops, double post!

    ~Rosie
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2011

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