Introducing older hens to my young girls?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by mommabice, Apr 8, 2012.

  1. mommabice

    mommabice Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 22, 2012
    My Coop
    Okay, I have found plenty on adding babies to an already established flock of older girls...but I am interested in doing the opposite.

    I have five 8 week old girls, and I am interested in getting two hens that are already laying age to add to the flock since I have coop space and want a slightly bigger flock (I think one of the girls may be a roo too, so it would be nice to already have a couple "buffer" hens in case I have to get rid of a roo or two).

    How do I go out this? Would the older hens take over the pullets and be mean, or would the larger group of 8 week olds be okay and hold their own?

    I know there is no way to know for sure, but I wondered if anyone had done this in this particular way?

    **btw, if this needs to move to another forum, feel free, but I thought this was the best fit**
  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I'd wait til the younger group is more or less the same size as the older ones, regardless of which group is added to which, myself, to be on the safe side. But you're right, there is no way of knowing who it will work out. I think as a rule when they are around the same size, there is some pecking but they manage to get the flock dynamics worked out on their own peacefully enough.
  3. florida lee

    florida lee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 6, 2011
    I just did the opposite, twice within the month. I have two coops with older hens ( just over a year old ). I also have two batches of chicks ( 4 and 5 weeks old). In each coop I put up a frame and covered it with the plastic chicken fencing. To separate the chicks from the older hens. Put in a door so I can refill food and water. Below each door I framed an area that would later be opened to let chicks in/out. I put this temporary divider under the poop boards. Put in the chicks, a batch in each coop. At first all the hens stood around and looked at the chicks then lost interest in them after the second day or so. After a few days I opened the passage way under the door for the chicks, so they can get out or run thru for protection if needed. This worked out great, no problems what so ever, except two days later I found a couple of hens in the separated area eating the chicks food, I had made the passage way a little too big. I closed it in a little so the big hens could not get in. Has worked out real well I will be pulling the partitions out as soon as the chicks start using the "big girls roost".
    I guess it would work the opposite way also.
    Good luck
  4. suzeqf

    suzeqf Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2011
    I've kinda done the same thing, I have 23 7 week olds and my hubby built me a chicken wire wall in my coop and we put up a run and we have a little hen door so the little girls can go outside and not be bothered by the roos but it seems that several of my big girls like the idea of not being bothered by the boys and have figured out how to get into the little girl pen and so far no one has tried to peck any one other than the usual pecking order type pecking. I'll prob put the little girls in the main coop when they are around 12 weeks old and by that time my polish & silkie/ various banty babies will be old enough to move in to the coop as well
  5. tinkchick

    tinkchick New Egg

    May 7, 2011
    I have 7 one year old hens. I also have 5 six week old pullets. I let all of them out each day to free range.
    the little ones know to get out of the hens way when they meet outside. We just built a new small coop this week so the new pullets could get out of the basement and have them eat the right food.
    My concern is how do I keep the pullets from eating the hens layer food and vice versa. I hate to close off the coop doors to keep them out.(during the day)
    how do others handle this problem?

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