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little chicks adding 17 week old hens?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by springweems1, Mar 2, 2013.

  1. springweems1

    springweems1 Hatching

    Mar 1, 2013
    We currently have 10 5 day old barred rock chickies. We want to add hens that are approx 17-18 weeks old. how would you recommend introducing them?

  2. redsoxs

    redsoxs Crowing

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    I recommend NOT introducing them for a good while yet - like until the youngsters are fully feathered (4-6 weeks). The hens will be merciless on the little ones if done too early.
    1 person likes this.
  3. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Crowing

    Apr 11, 2011
    Ditto, it'll be heartbreaking if you try to mix them now. I'd even try to wait until they're all roughly the same size if that's a possibility. Good luck.
    1 person likes this.
  4. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Crowing

    What you need is a grow out pen for the youngest birds alongside the older birds. Once they are old enough to leave the brooder you can put them in their pen. This allows the older birds time to get used to them before you put them together. My chicks go out to their coop/pen at 5 weeks of age and stay there until they are about 15 weeks old. They share a fence line. By the time I let them out with the older girls pecking order scuffles are extremely minor.

    If you try to integrate to fast, or when chicks are too young, the results can be terrible, youngsters can be killed. Chickens really are ruthless and they do NOT take to new birds easily. Sometimes if you try to go to fast the older birds get it in their heads to attack and drive off the new birds and sometimes they just don't get over it. Makes getting them integrated very stressful and difficult for everyone involved, including you!
    1 person likes this.
  5. tommysgirl

    tommysgirl Songster

    Mar 18, 2012
    I was going to say what cafarmgirl said. Most people wait until the younger birds are the same size...there are varying methods of introduction but I plan to use this one.

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