Integrating 12 week pullets with 17 week hens

Jun 8, 2020
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174
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Rio Linda, California
Hi, I have 3 RI hens 17 weeks and 3 BJG and 1 Cochin 12 weeks old. They spent 3 weeks from age 7 to 10 weeks old in a see don’t touch pen. Then I let them out together in the large run with lots of hiding places, and double feeders and waters. The First week they looked like opposite magnets rotating around the run. The RI never got aggressive but flexed their authority by running up to them, but no pecking. This week they seem to being able to get a little closer to each other but not blending yet. The BJG and Cochin are rapidly growing and are actually the same size or a bit larger than the RI. When should I begin putting them in the coop together at night? And how? Or should I wait until they’re older. I just worry the larger birds might become much bigger and negatively impact the RI and integration? I am new at this and not sure. Your advice is greatly appreciated.
 

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Mrs. K

Free Ranging
10 Years
Nov 12, 2009
8,287
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western South Dakota
I would do it now. It is not uncommon to have a sub flock, with different ages, and when you have a group, that hangs together, that is a sub flock. If they are not attacking them during the day, and you really have enough roosting space, I would just put them together. I would let the older girls roost, and just put the younger birds in the coop, shut the door. Do get down early in the morning, to open them up to the run. You may have to do this for 2-3 nights.

They may not roost at first, but will eventually. Do close up where-ever you had the young birds at night.

When they all begin to lay, they will be come one flock.

Mrs K
 
Jun 8, 2020
82
174
60
Rio Linda, California
Thank you. That’s so encouraging. As you can see in the pics the 12 weekers are almost bigger than the 17 week RI’s. 😊. Also you can see the young ones giving the RI a little distance, but they don’t attack or peck at them. They do show them they are first and the little ones second. It will be interesting to see what happens when the young ones are twice the size of the RIs. 😎

I will begin tomorrow night putting them in with the Reds and letting them out at dawn.
 

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