Introducing older hens to a young flock

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by hergy80, May 15, 2011.

  1. hergy80

    hergy80 New Egg

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    Apr 23, 2011
    About a month ago we got 8 day old pullets. Since we won't be getting eggs until around Sept, we were thinking about getting 2 older hens (about 9 months old) so we can start enjoying eggs a little sooner. Currently we have our flock in a brooder until they get their feathers, which we will then move to an outdoor coop. What would be the best way to go about introducing these two, or should we just wait it out? We were thinking of allowing the older 2 to roam the coop and bring the younger ones into the run for a while each day (probably kept within a dog kennel inside the run). Do they need to be with the older ones constantly to get acquainted? And with 8 smaller ones, will they integrate better since they will out number the older ones? Thanks!
     
  2. LarryPQ

    LarryPQ Easter Hatch!!

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    YOu need to wait it out.

    If nothing else, the hens should be quarantined from the chicks for 30 days, as chicks are susceptable to diseases. This means you should probably house the chicks away from the hens. OUtside of sneezing, bug-jumping, and dander transfering distance.

    The little flock will integrate better, as there are more of them. Still, I would wait until they are of similar size-- probably 16 weeks--before you integrate them completely.
     
  3. hergy80

    hergy80 New Egg

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    Apr 23, 2011
    Thanks for the reply. I think if we decide to go this route, we'll give the new hens the coop and keep the chicks in their brooder for at least another month with no contact. (We were going to wait at least a month before putting them out into the coop anyhow since they don't have all their feathers yet and it's still a bit cool here in Michigan). Then we will start taking them out into the run for introductions and slowly begin to integrate them when they get bigger.
     
  4. LarryPQ

    LarryPQ Easter Hatch!!

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    When you do integrate, do it at night. Put the kiddos directly on the roost, so they don;t get in the habit of sleeping on the ground.

    Then hens may not even notice the additions, since chickens can't count.
     
  5. WooingWyandotte

    WooingWyandotte Overrun With Chickens

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    Nor cal
    With my hens and chicks I find it's pretty fun to watch them mingle, but watch out a hen may take it into her head to attack a chick, in that case immediately remove the chick and wait till it's bigger. My 11 week olds live outside with the big girls and are happy. (They have to eat different foods which makes it difficult)
    At night we put them in with the hens till they figure out to jump up there. (still learning)I think my two big girls like more chickens in the flock, I'm glad.
     

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