Introducing a bantam hen to standard hens?

chixcoop

Chirping
Jul 24, 2015
321
26
88
Western Mass
Hi, I have 7 chicks that are about 8 weeks old. I want to introduce them with my 4 standard hens once the chicks are big however, 4 of the 7 chicks are bantams, (2 roosters, 2 hens). Will the bantam hens have a tough time being integrated because they are small? Right now, one of the adults are trying to kill the 7 chicks, so I am concerned that when I introduce the bantams,it will not survive from being picked on because it is so small.

P.S. Arrgh! my computer is not typing correctly, when I go back into the text to try and correct it, it highlights the letter in front of it and deletes it! Is anyone else having this problem?
 

Den in Penn

Songster
8 Years
Dec 15, 2011
3,418
216
216
SE Pa.
Size can a be problem. I would wait until they are at least 10 to 12 weeks or more old, to give the bantams more time to grow. The more room they have the easier it will be. If you can house them next to the grownups until then, that will allow them to get to know each other. Even then there can still be problems, so do supervise. Bantams can live with full size.
 

cafarmgirl

Crowing
10 Years
Mar 24, 2009
5,521
610
327
California, central valley
Ditto what Den in Penn said. Especially about housing these birds next to your older birds for as long as possible before you integrate, give everybody time to settle down. They'll even work out some pecking order stuff through the fence. That is what I do and it works well for me, my last batch of youngsters was half bantams and half standards. My youngsters move into their grow out pen at 5 weeks, at 12 weeks I started letting them out when the older birds were out in the pasture, lots of room to run and hide. There will still be some pecking order scuffles but just keep an eye on them and hopefully all will be well.

Another thing you can try when it's time to let them out together is just letting one lower ranking older hen out with them. When that goes ok let another out and so forth. Keep a close eye on the older bird that wants to be aggressive.
 

chixcoop

Chirping
Jul 24, 2015
321
26
88
Western Mass
Ditto what Den in Penn said. Especially about housing these birds next to your older birds for as long as possible before you integrate, give everybody time to settle down. They'll even work out some pecking order stuff through the fence. That is what I do and it works well for me, my last batch of youngsters was half bantams and half standards. My youngsters move into their grow out pen at 5 weeks, at 12 weeks I started letting them out when the older birds were out in the pasture, lots of room to run and hide. There will still be some pecking order scuffles but just keep an eye on them and hopefully all will be well.

Another thing you can try when it's time to let them out together is just letting one lower ranking older hen out with them. When that goes ok let another out and so forth. Keep a close eye on the older bird that wants to be aggressive.

Right now, they chicks are seperated from the adults by a chicken wire. They have been that way for about 4 weeks. There are 2 lower ranking hens that seem okay with the chicks, but the alpha hen doesn't like them. As for free ranging them together, I never really thought that would be a good idea. Well, for one I thought that the chicks would not come back at night because they are confined in the pen, and they do not have an outside run. Also, the large chickens would out runthe little ones so I was worried that they might chase the chicks far away! How did you train your chicks to return to the coop at night? I'll probably try your idea in the spring sometime.
 

cafarmgirl

Crowing
10 Years
Mar 24, 2009
5,521
610
327
California, central valley
Quote:
My young birds stay in their grow out pen, which is a coop with a run, until they are 10 - 12 weeks old. Only then do I start leaving the door open so they can make their first foray into the pasture or barn with the older birds. By that age they are just about full size and they've been in their coop/run long enough that they know it's home, so they go in at dusk on their own.
 

cafarmgirl

Crowing
10 Years
Mar 24, 2009
5,521
610
327
California, central valley
Ok, so do you have 2 outdoor pens? My adults are in the only outside pen that I have, and the chicks are inside the shed, no access to an outside run.
Yes. Two coops, side by side on the back wall of my barn, a big run out the back that is split down the middle, each coop has it's own pop door of course. This way the new young birds can be seen and heard and spend their day scratching and foraging right beside the older birds but separated by a fence. By the time they are 10 - 12 weeks old the older birds have gotten completely used to seeing them around every day and when the young birds are finally let out pecking order scuffles are usually pretty mild.
 

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