Integrating older chickens into my younger flock

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by mumztheword, Sep 25, 2012.

  1. mumztheword

    mumztheword New Egg

    Aug 16, 2012
    I've been searching thru posts, but most of the time people are integrating younger chicks into their established flock. I have 3 very sweet 8-week old girls that have been outside since week 2 and "free ranging" in their attached 20' X 40' pen for more than a month. Plenty of places to hide under the asparagus or under the weeds/bushes, and a huge compost pile to search for treasures.

    Everything is going swimmingly. Do I dare rock the boat by adding 2 laying hens? Or are they really too young?

  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    You could, but if you get 2 hens from somewhere you should quarantine them for 4 weeks at least to make sure they don't carry anything nasty that they can share with your chicks. If you are sure they are 100% disease, lice and worm free you can add them to your young flock. Expect some feathers to fly as they get settled and establish the pecking order, but they should work it out. I've recently moved house with 8 youngsters (2 months old) and 22 older chickens, ranging from 4 months to 2 years old and though they haven't seen much of each other before as they free ranged over a large area they were O.K. with each other. Though I guess the new environment was a distraction!
  3. Fur & Feathers

    Fur & Feathers Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 7, 2011
    My Coop
    if its something of interest in doing,woud recommend a gradual introduction,only let them have 'play dates' with the grown chickens whilst theyre freeranging,then when they are comfortable enough they can make the transition to living with each other.

    the cochin chick/chicklets of mine are probably around the same age and a maran pullet has took to them amazingly well-they had one playdate where she followed them a little but had filmed her second playdate-awesome behavior,this is the video if want to see it-


    have seen the damage created by chickens being practicaly thrown in the coop/run with stranger chickens and it does them no good for their health or mood in own view.

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