Introduction of 2 mo. olds w/ hens...too soon??

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by JLS, Jul 31, 2010.

  1. JLS

    JLS Love my feathered babies!

    517
    3
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    May 29, 2009
    Maine
    My Coop
    I was told by a friend that I should be able to combined the 2 month olds with my 1 yr old hens now. They have been in the same coop, but seperated by wire. So I tried. I debated on how to do it. I was going to wait until night fall, but I had real reservations about the differnce in sizes and wanted to be there to save them if nesessary.

    I opened all the doors and chicken yards. I watched like a hawk. Most of the hens were indifferent but 2 were absolutely cruel! So after a couple hours of close observation, I seperated them once again.

    Am I doing it too soon? Or am I too over-protective? I have 10 heavy hens and 11 babies (amaericanas, silkies, wyandottes).
     
  2. fldiver97

    fldiver97 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 5, 2009
    Middleton, WI
    I personally would wait until they are a bit bigger in size. I have a small flock and integrated 2 at around 4 months to the older girls. I had them quarantined, then moved them in a secure small coop and run inside the big coop. Some of the big girls tried to peck at them through the wire. After a few weeks of the see but can't touch and the new girls being about 3/4 size of the 4 big girls I thought we'd be fine to let them free range. There was some pecking but mostly on the RIR (that turned out to be a roo and was rehomed). That gave the BR a chance to settle failry peacefully though. Initially I let them still sleep in the little coop, the wire went out though. So they had a space to retreat to. The BR started roosting with the others after the roo left. Then I introduced one almost one year old hen to the now 10-14 month old 5 girls......same thing = quarantine, coop/run within big coop, after being able to see each other for a couple of weeks free ranging in the yard together. She had a hard time despite her size as she was introduced by herself and all the other girls had to put her in her place. Lots more pecking and posturing, had to keep out several feeders and waterers for a while and it took a couple of months for the newbie to roost with the others.
    So I would suggest to keep a few more weeks of 'see no touch', wait till the little ones are a bit bigger. Then see if they can get along but maybe keep extra feeder around so the established flock won't keep them from eating/drinking. I'd think it would be much easier to have several new chickens to introduce to an existing flock. Hopefully the pecking will be minimal and they will settle their new pecking order. If blood gets drawn separate them, maybe isolate the worst offenders for a few days and then re-introduce them in the flock......Good luck
     

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