How do I mix pullets with older girls and a rooster.

lovetocook

Songster
Mar 12, 2009
102
6
154
Washington, NJ
In the past I have always had momma hen to introduce her chicks to the older flock. I have 8 nine week old pullets who are in the coop with the older flock of 5 hens and a rooster but separated in their own enclosure. When can I mix the two groups and what is the best way to do it?
 

drinkoj

Chicken Chaser
Premium Feather Member
May 24, 2020
592
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Upstate South Carolina
I have done it this way, https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/my-coop-brooder-and-integration.74591/
Basically you're making an opening big enough for the pullets but not the old chickens, so the pullets can escape if needed. Also put some concrete blocks down, so that the solid brick parts are on the ground and on top, this allows the pullets to have something to run into or escape around.
 

Dottie the Chicken

Lover of Jesus, cows, and chickens
Premium Feather Member
May 8, 2020
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Wisconsin
Same coop but separate pens? Can the youngers see the elders? Can you maybe post a picture of your set up?
 

lovetocook

Songster
Mar 12, 2009
102
6
154
Washington, NJ
Same coop but separate pens? Can the youngers see the elders? Can you maybe post a picture of your set up?
They can see each other & have been in the same coop for a month now. I let the big girls & roo out to the run and let the pullets into the main coop during the day. At dusk I reverse the plan, put the pullets into their enclosure & let the big girls & roo back into the coop. My main concern is the roo. Will he attack the 9 week old pullets?
 

RoostersAreAwesome

Crossing the Road
May 21, 2017
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They can see each other & have been in the same coop for a month now. I let the big girls & roo out to the run and let the pullets into the main coop during the day. At dusk I reverse the plan, put the pullets into their enclosure & let the big girls & roo back into the coop. My main concern is the roo. Will he attack the 9 week old pullets?
It’s not likely, but I suppose it’s possible. You’ll have to watch them closely and have a backup plan.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
Nov 27, 2012
88,095
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My Coop
I have too, but 9 weeks might be too big for 'tiny doors'.

Can you maybe post a picture of your set up?
yes, please.


Here's some tips about.....

Integration Basics:
It's all about territory and resources(space/food/water).
Existing birds will almost always attack new ones to defend their resources.
Understanding chicken behaviors is essential to integrating new birds into your flock.

Confine new birds within sight but physically segregated from older/existing birds for several weeks, so they can see and get used to each other but not physically interact.

In adjacent runs, spread scratch grains along the dividing mesh, best if mesh is just big enough for birds to stick their head thru, so they get used to eating together.

The more space, the better. Birds will peck to establish dominance, the pecked bird needs space to get away. As long as there's no copious blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down and beaten unmercilessly, let them work it out. Every time you interfere or remove new birds, they'll have to start the pecking order thing all over again.

Multiple feed/water stations. Dominance issues are most often carried out over sustenance, more stations lessens the frequency of that issue.

Places for the new birds to hide 'out of line of sight'(but not a dead end trap) and/or up and away from any bully birds. Roosts, pallets or boards leaned up against walls or up on concrete blocks, old chairs tables, branches, logs, stumps out in the run can really help. Lots of diversion and places to 'hide' instead of bare wide open run.
Good ideas for hiding places:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/a-cluttered-run.1323792/
 

lovetocook

Songster
Mar 12, 2009
102
6
154
Washington, NJ
I have too, but 9 weeks might be too big for 'tiny doors'.

yes, please.


Here's some tips about.....

Integration Basics:
It's all about territory and resources(space/food/water).
Existing birds will almost always attack new ones to defend their resources.
Understanding chicken behaviors is essential to integrating new birds into your flock.

Confine new birds within sight but physically segregated from older/existing birds for several weeks, so they can see and get used to each other but not physically interact.

In adjacent runs, spread scratch grains along the dividing mesh, best if mesh is just big enough for birds to stick their head thru, so they get used to eating together.

The more space, the better. Birds will peck to establish dominance, the pecked bird needs space to get away. As long as there's no copious blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down and beaten unmercilessly, let them work it out. Every time you interfere or remove new birds, they'll have to start the pecking order thing all over again.

Multiple feed/water stations. Dominance issues are most often carried out over sustenance, more stations lessens the frequency of that issue.

Places for the new birds to hide 'out of line of sight'(but not a dead end trap) and/or up and away from any bully birds. Roosts, pallets or boards leaned up against walls or up on concrete blocks, old chairs tables, branches, logs, stumps out in the run can really help. Lots of diversion and places to 'hide' instead of bare wide open run.
Good ideas for hiding places:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/a-cluttered-run.1323792/
This is a huge help.
Thank you
 

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