How Long Should Teens Stay in Meet and Greet?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by duckking, May 31, 2011.

  1. duckking

    duckking Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 2, 2010
    Cascade Foothills, WA
    I have 4 almost 12 week old pullets, (actually we are pretty sure the Delaware is a roo), out in the run in a separate, safe space with a doghouse. They can be seen, heard and interact with the three 9 month old pullets, one of whom is broody and ignores them completely. The 2 RIR's are curious, and definitely showing their dominance, but nothing vicious so far at any rate. I have allowed them to interact outside their protected area under supervision from me for about 20 mins. each day. I guess I am wondering when I can throw them to the wolves.....We also have ducks, but they don't seem to care about them at all. They don't bug the older pullets either.

    Also, what can I expect between my drake and the roo? Eventually, we will have 9 pullets (we have three 6 week old pullets still in the house), 1 cockerel, 6 ducks, 1 drake.

    They have Fort Knox which is about 300sq.ft. which contains the duck house and the chicken coop, where they go at night and are locked up. During the day the have access to an additional 400 sq. ft. of yard to run around and forage in with a pool and shelter.

    I'd like to get the young ones out of the house and into the protected area in a couple more weeks, so I want the first group integrated. Am I rushing things?

    Any advice would be great!
     
  2. aggie9296

    aggie9296 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 28, 2011
    Panama City, FL
    The pullets will do better when they are about the same size as the older hens. Then they will still get pecked, but not as bad. I let mine free range together all day and sleep separate at night for about 2-3 weeks. My Red Stars were about 3 months when I got them and 4 months when they were finally integrated. Some pecking is to be expected, but if blood was drawn, I separated them again until it got better.

    And i don't have ducks, but I've never heard of any problems with the roos to the drakes.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2011
  3. duckking

    duckking Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 2, 2010
    Cascade Foothills, WA
    Thanks for the info. My older hens are BIG. Hopefully in another 2 weeks or so, the kids will catch up. They have access to the 'free range area' but it has been raining cats and dogs and the chickens don't hang out there much unless the rains stops. Supposedly sunny on the w/e and in the 70's, so I'll try to let them out into the larger run with the gang then and let them sleep separate at night for a while.
     
  4. aggie9296

    aggie9296 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 28, 2011
    Panama City, FL
    Good luck. You do have to let them sort out the pecking order some. But hens can get nasty so you have to use your best judgement how much is too much. I almost got rid of my older hens since they don't lay as much and were terrorizing the younger ones. It's all better now.
     

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