Introducing Chicks to 2 slightly older Pullets?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by allardkelly, May 3, 2007.

  1. allardkelly

    allardkelly Hatching

    May 1, 2007
    I have two pullets (about 3 and 4weeks) and I was wondering when I could introduce them to my chicks?
  2. Napalongtail

    Napalongtail Longtail Longtimer

    Jan 31, 2007
    NE Washington
    How old are the chicks? The trick to mixing ages IMO is that you must do so in a totally neutral environment. For example: Let say I have 4 brooders going w/ all different age chicks. I want to consolidate down to 2 brooders. I first remove all of the chicks from both brooders by putting them in a box. I then clean the brooder that I want to use, change the water, move its location, freshen the feed , move where it was originally, add in fresh bedding and starting with the youngest chicks first I quickly add them ALL to the NEW brooder, by all means that should be that. Good luck!
  3. Zenbirder

    Zenbirder Songster

    May 3, 2007
    New Mexico
    I am also thinking about how to introduce my two batches of chicks to each other. My feedstore didn't have all the varieties I wanted at the same time so I have my first batch of 10, they are about 5 weeks old now and the second batch of 12 at two weeks. The first group was moved to the hen house with a heat lamp at three weeks when the second group was arriving. I wanted to get them all at only a couple of days old so they know me. The older girls have been able to access their yard at will for a week now, the yard is totally tight. I want to move the younger ones to a section of the hen house later this week, and out of their cardboard box in my studio (the dust isn't nice). for now I have been taking the younger girls out to the corner of the hen yard for a short time each day with me watching over them. The big girls know they are there but ignore them. What do I need to watch out for, or type of behavior that spells trouble? Would the older ones do any harm to the little ones? I admit to being very attached already. Some of the older ones run up and jump in my lap, or on the dog if he lays down in the pen. I have been very careful about cleaning chickie buts when they are small and havn't lost a single one. I am a vegetarian and look forward to real eggs from happy free range (when they are a bit older) hens.
  4. Sherry

    Sherry Songster

    Apr 8, 2007
    Southern WV
    I too am faced with this problem. There is about 4 weeks difference between my 2 "flocks". The greater difference is in size. I've kept the younger ones in a crate next to the bigger ones for the last 2-3 weeks, then moved the crate inside the bigger ones' pen, then put the little ones out in the pen with the bigger ones when everyone was settling down for the night.
    Next morning all seemed to go well until the littlest one didn't like the big ones looking at him/her and tried to fight them all.[​IMG] Little ones are back inside their crate beside the big ones.
    I've posted this question here 2 or 3 times, but no one seems to want to answer this one. I guess I'll wait until everyone is pretty much the same size and then put them together. I'll supervise all I can, but....
  5. allen wranch

    allen wranch Crowing

    Jan 11, 2007
    San Marcos, TX
    Integrating birds has been addressed several times, but it may have been in other categories.

    Integrating different ages of chicks, and integrating chicks with adults depends primarily on size. A larger bird can seriously harm a small one.

    Y'all are doing it correctly.
    Introduce them slowly. Let them see each other but not get to each other, then let them together under supervision until they get used to each other. Don't crowd them and provide plenty of places for the smaller ones to get away if necessary. Any bird can do a lot of damage if it corners another and starts pecking on it. Sometimes the other birds will join in and then you have... well you know.

    There will be some activity at first to establish the pecking order, but they should settle down eventually. Just watch for any chick that seems to get picked on all the time. I also wouldn't add a week old chick to a larger group. It is just too small.

    Mixing chicks with adults adds a second problem because of the feed. Chicks should not be on layer food because of the additional calcium.

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