How to intergrate new pullets?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by my first peepers, Sep 21, 2008.

  1. my first peepers

    my first peepers Songster

    Jul 9, 2008
    South Western VT
    I started with 5 EEs, three girls, two boys, they are now 18 weeks old. Then I got 2 more pullets (1 EE, 1 SLW) who are now 9 weeks old. I quarantined them and built them a little outside pen. This week I started putting their pen out near the big girls. One rooster left this week and the one I have left is very mellow. (Their doesn't seems to be any pecking order adjusting since he left, do they neeed time to get used to life w/out him?) The older chickens are very interested in the little ones and walk around their pen, the roo makes a strange cooing sound at them. My lead pullet has tried to peck at the little ones through the wire and when I held one out to her she lunged at her. I also put the big ones in their pen and let the little ones out to walk around them. I thought I had a plan but now I'm scared to let them mix. How should I go about this? Should I let the big ones spend more time checking them out through the wire? Should I let them free range together first? I've heard of people putting the new ones in at night but my chickens wake up much earlier than I and I'm afraid they would hurt the little ones before I got out there. Also my coop isn't big enough to make a section for the little ones inside. Any other ideas and advice is appreciated! Thanks!
  2. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap

    Keep them seperate but visible to each other until they seem to get along or ignore each other. I think the pecker may just have a bad attitude.
  3. cajunlizz

    cajunlizz Songster

    Apr 27, 2008
    Lafayette, Louisiana
    I have mixed several different breeds . After making sure they were all healthy , I added them. There was a little pecking , BUT that is not unusal . To me as long as the rooster dont attack the new flock , you good to go . I have added 10 new ones at a time , ALL different breeds and no problems .... The ONLY BREED I always keep separate are my bantams .... They are smaller and I refuse to mix them at all . they have separate place for them ... DO NOT want ANY mix breeding with the bantams ...
    Works for me , I NOW have a total of close to 100 in my flock and hatching of 8 more on Oct. 4th. I guess you can CALL me the CHICKEN LADY ? Better than being called THE CAT LADY . LOL [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]: thumbsup
  4. my first peepers

    my first peepers Songster

    Jul 9, 2008
    South Western VT
    I am worried about their size difference...while the SLW is almost as big as my smallest pullet she's about half the size of my roo. The little EE is even smaller! I guess I'll just keep doing what I've been doing for a while longer then take the plunge! Anyone else have ideas about the best way to do it? Freeranging seems like it would be safest because it's more open and they might not be as territorial?
  5. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap

    When we got our first 6 hens/pullets, we wound up with:

    1 blue laced red wyandotte - roo
    1 black sex link
    2 EE's
    1 Buff Orpington
    1 Silver Spangled Hamburg
    1 turken

    They range in size from tiny (the turken) to large (the roo). It took them some time but they all get along just fine and there are 3 that still arent laying. I would say just watch and see what happens.
  6. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    I would keep them separate for a little while longer and just let them get used to each other. maybe in a couple of weeks or so, if you free range them, let them all out together. Just be handy the first few times in case you have to intervene.
  7. ladyrua

    ladyrua In the Brooder

    Jun 9, 2008
    I mixed my 8 week hens with 18 week hens over the course of a couple of days. I put the three younger ones in a wire cage inside the run with the other girls, and inside the coop at night (still in their own cage). Then one night, after they'd all gone inside, I took the younger ones out of the cage and right into the coop. Very little angst among them, even the very next morning. They kept to their "cliques" for a few weeks, but intermingle now! There was some flying feathers, and as I expected, the smallest of the young batch is now lowest on the totem pole, but not picked on to excess.

    Good luck!

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