Joining pullets and chicks...(not sure what to title it)

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by FlutterbyChicks, Feb 6, 2015.

  1. FlutterbyChicks

    FlutterbyChicks Chirping

    Jan 21, 2015
    So, we are in the process of starting our backyard flock. We ordered 5 chicks from mypetchicken that will arrive the beginning of May. We have a family member who has 10 pullets that will begin laying in about a month or so. She offered to sell us some. We don't want a huge flock. But if we get 2 pullets in the next couple of months, then get 5 chicks in May, that will end up out in the coop in June sometime, how well will everyone get along? Is this a good idea, or should we maybe just stick with what we ordered? It'd be nice to have at least a few eggs a week throughout the summer. Thanks!
  2. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon

    The word you're looking for is integration. Instead of typing out a long response, I'll just advise you to do a search on flock integration and read through the information already given.

    Good luck with your flock! Just a warning--chickens are highly addictive [​IMG]
  3. FlutterbyChicks

    FlutterbyChicks Chirping

    Jan 21, 2015
    Thank you! I knew there would be a better word than "joining", but my brain said "no thanks" when I tried to come up with it. I will search that term. Thank you again!!
  4. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    truthfully, I would cancel the order on the chicks and take the pullets. Then next year try chicks. One generally should plan on adding each year.

    Mrs K
  5. jackiezim

    jackiezim In the Brooder

    May 15, 2014
    It is so much fun to watch chicks grow up. I have had adult hens with chicks. Keep the chicks separated from older hens until they are close to same size. I separated the run with chicken wire, nothing fancy. The chicks had their on place to sleep at night as well.
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    If these are your first chickens, I would stick with one or the other rather than trying to do both. There can be a big learning curve and learning / planning as much as possible ahead of time will make the curve more pleasant.

    Integration can be difficult, having lots of space that you can split in half or separate but adjacent enclosures is the easiest way.

    Think ahead; about how many chickens you want to keep and how you will add/subtract chickens as they get older and lay less....or just want more chickens.

    I'll paste all my notes on integration below, some are general, some are how I did some integration and there are some links that you can browse to learn more.

    Here's some notes I've taken on integration that I found to be very helpful.
    See if any of them, or the links provided, might offer some tips that will assist you in your situation:

    Integration of new chickens to flock.

    Consider medical quarantine:
    BYC Medical Quarantine Article
    Poultry Biosecurity
    BYC 'medical quarantine' search

    Confine new birds within sight but physically segregated from older/existing birds for several weeks, so they can see and get used to each other but not physically interact. Integrating new birds of equal size works best.

    For smaller chicks I used a large wire dog crate right in the coop for the smallers. I removed the crate door and put up a piece of wire fencing over the opening and bent up one corner just enough for the smallers to fit thru but the biggers could not. Feed and water inside the crate for the smallers. Make sure the smallers know how to get in and out of the crate opening before exposing them to the olders. this worked out great for me, by the time the crate was too small for the them to roost in there(about 3 weeks), they had pretty much integrated themselves to the olders.

    If you have too many smallers to fit in a crate you can partition off part of the coop with a wire wall and make the same openings for smallers escape.

    The more space, the better. Birds will peck to establish dominance, the pecked bird needs space to get away. As long as there's no blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down, let them work it out. Every time you interfere or remove new birds, they'll have to start the pecking order thing all over again.

    Multiple feed/water stations. Dominance issues are most often carried out over sustenance, more stations lessens the frequency of that issue.

    Places for the new birds to hide out of line of sight and/or up and away from any bully birds.

    Read up on integration..... BYC advanced search>titles only>integration
    This is good place to start reading:
  7. jackiezim

    jackiezim In the Brooder

    May 15, 2014
    I believe what aart posted is the informAtion I used for integration and all went very well. I'm not a seasoned chicken keeper, Ive been at it for a little over a year and you will have many experiences in that time. I do agree you should consider your space an ultimately how many chickens your coop and run can handle.

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