Merging chicks and pullets -- is it possible?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by 10xmama, Nov 11, 2013.

  1. 10xmama

    10xmama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 14, 2011
    I'd really like to find a way to combine my chicks with my pullets in one coop -- but so far our trials have not gone well. My chicks are 6wks old and fully feathered but obviously small compared to my 30wk old pullets. I have my chicks in a brooder in the barn and the pullets in our coop/run. I have put the chicks in a cage near the coop and in the coop so the girls can see them …. and three times I have tried to let the chicks in with the girls. The girls chase them around and nab them … grabbing feathers and terrifying the chicks. They didn't draw blood … but I am thinking if left alone w/o me there they would?

    So am I doomed to build another coop until the chicks are as big as the pullets? Then I can merge them?

    What's the right way to combine?

    Thanks for help and thoughts …. My 30wk old girls are my first flock …. and they are delightful to each other ….. but ummm not so much to the chicks.
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Well, you could cheat and make a little bigger area in the barn and let them grow out to adult size....

    Ideally, yes, two coops and runs next to each other with a chicken wire fence between. They will probably still peck but hopefully not draw blood. Mixing them when they are different sizes doesn't usually go well, though I've read of people getting away with it, particularly if they are housed next to each other from an early age.

    The odd thing is, if a broody hatches out chicks, she can safely raise them in with the flock in most cases. She keeps the other hens away from the chicks.

    Here's a good thread about integrating. Maybe something will help.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/803815/integrating-two-groups/0_20
     
  3. 10xmama

    10xmama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 14, 2011
    Hmmm thx for the thread links. I read them all. I think I may have to make a temporary area for them in the barn ... It has a concrete floor and there's plenty I don't want them messing with or on but I think using a foldable pet gate I can't set something up that can work for a few weeks. In the mean time, we can work on a small coop. We had already thought about making one for this purpose or to use as a hospital/quarantine area if ever needed.... After seeing how the big girls responded in the few trials I've done -- I can see how close to 16wks would be a safer time to try and integrate. Thanks for the response and ideas.
     

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