How do I blend younger pullets with older ones ?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by JoeOxfordCT, Nov 18, 2007.

  1. JoeOxfordCT

    JoeOxfordCT Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 13, 2007
    Oxford, CT.
    Hi All,

    I have 9 Rhode Island Reds pullets that I got as day olds in mid August. I then recently got 4 (as yet unsexed) Buff chicks (thanks PurpleChicken (Don)) that are now I would think at least 6 weeks old. I would like to move the Buffs to the coops with the RIR's but I'm afraid of bad behavior from the older girls. Some years back when I had chickens at another house I had mixed results by waiting til after dark, bringing the younger birds into the coop and literally smearing all the chickens with shaving cream, the idea being to make everybody smell the same.....this actually worked most times but every now and then I would find a smaller bird pecked to death by the older ones.

    Since I've been browsing BackYardChickens I've read about partitioning off a part of the main coop with wire and having a hole in the wire large enough for the smaller birds to get out and mix in the main part of the coop. I am still concerned that maybe the larger birds might still corner one or more of the smaller ones ?

    How does everyone else do this ?? [​IMG]

    Thanks!

    Joe
    Oxford, CT.
     
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Ideally, you wait till they are about the same size, then introduce them, and coop them up together and let them dual it out as they all have to learn.

    Mine go though a rough hazing period but I do free range and they all meet each other when the youngest to be put in are about 3 weeks old. Yes, pecking will go on and there will be heads in corners for a while.
     
  3. JoeOxfordCT

    JoeOxfordCT Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 13, 2007
    Oxford, CT.
    Well I really want to get the Buff chicks out of the box I have them in in my garage and into larger quarters......as I write this the RIR's are free ranging in my yard and the Buffs are in a large bottomless box also out in the yard so the can scratch at the soil too (they be back in the garage under a light by dark)......should I let them loose and see if they "blend" with the older girls ?
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2007
  4. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    I would, but I free range starting as early as 3 weeks. 3 month old birds vs not quite two months old birds might be a decent age difference, but I think they are young enough to get along still. I say dump them out and keep an eye on them. That is just me though and others may be a lot more conservative on how they introduce birds. I am the let them go fight it out type. Haven't had a problem yet though.

    Edit: I practice tough love with the birds.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2007
  5. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 26, 2007
    Longmont, CO
    They are way too young to try and put them together. Generally it's not a good idea to ever do that, but I'm actually thinking about it myself, cuz like everybody, I need more chickens!! [​IMG]
     
  6. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    I guess I'd give putting them together a try. I usually do the pen in pen thing where they can get to know each other through the wire, but the older batch really isn't very old yet either, so I think that will make a difference. I'd just be sure and watch them closely. You can always seperate them again if you need to.
     
  7. PurpleChicken

    PurpleChicken Tolerated.....Mostly

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    Iceland
    Joe, those chicks are only 4 weeks old. They look older because they are
    healthy little buffs from a good line. I'm sure you're feeding them well
    too. They dwarf the leghorns that hatched out in the same batch. I hope
    they are turning out to be friendly. Of the 2 we kept for our flock 1 is SO
    friendly.

    We let that batch (born 10/19 & 10/20) free range today with our 7 month
    old birds. The babies stuck together and didn't go far. A few of the full grown
    birds poked at them but didn't hurt them.

    Let them have supervised visits until they all adjust. Expect some pecking.

    It's kinda cold for 4 week old chicks so keep a small heat lamp in their brooder.
    We have ours in the barn with a 40 watt light bulb for heat. It never drops below
    50 degrees in there.

    Tell your chickens me and Drumstick said Hello.
     
  8. PurpleChicken

    PurpleChicken Tolerated.....Mostly

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    Quote:[​IMG] I love that philosophy!!!
     
  9. JoeOxfordCT

    JoeOxfordCT Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oxford, CT.
    Here, I took some shots of everybody today while I was finishing raking the yard.

    What I did was prop up one end of the bottomless box I had the Buffs in. They were very tentative at first to venture out. I think I made them a little nervous too because I was raking close by. The RIR's were pleased that I was uncovering all sorts of little delights to for them to scratch at and eat. Or, they would wait until I had a little pile raked up and then they would go in to inspect....

    The Reds and the Buffs eyed each other and got close but didn't really mix it up together....I'm keeping the Buffs in their heated box for one more week. Next weekend's a long weekend too so I should be able to get them out together some more. I am also going to make a little wired section in the coop too, just in case. Leaves are finally done too so next weekend's project is to get their pen fenced in so they can safely be outside during the week while I'm at work.
     
  10. PurpleChicken

    PurpleChicken Tolerated.....Mostly

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    Those reds are beautiful. We only had one RIR so far and it turned out to
    be a roo. They look pretty happy too.

    It's amazing how big these Buffs get at 4 weeks. Jody must have done some
    genetic engineering on their moms and dad. Big, fat, and fluffy. Next time I
    incubate her eggs I'll use my bator instead of our microwave. [​IMG]

    The flocks should integrate easily as they spend more free ranging time together.
    Your reds are still babies too.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2007

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