mixing 6 week old pullets with laying hens

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by echosmaster, Mar 17, 2011.

  1. echosmaster

    echosmaster New Egg

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    Jan 11, 2011
    I'm going to be starting a backyard flock this year and will be raising 12 chicks. I also am borrowing 5 laying hens from a friend to provide us with eggs untill mine are old enough to start laying. I was wondering what feed would be best once these birds are all together (after the chicks are old enough to go to the coop). Keeping them sperate isn't a very good option for me. I've read that the layers should be eating laying ration, but that the extra calcium can be harmfull to pullets that are not yet laying. Thanks for any advice.
     
  2. Carli

    Carli Out Of The Brooder

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    May 4, 2010
    I heard the same thing but when I finished up the round of medicated feed and went back to buy new food, the lady at the feed store said giving them layer crumble wouldn't harm them.
     
  3. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Do not feed layer pellets/crumbles to pullets until they are absolutely at POL. Squatting to beat the band, and most of them, not just the "early girl".

    I bring on new pullets every six months. I simply keep two flocks. Trying to integrate a dozen little ones with 6 older, experienced hens is to set up a pecking contest the little ones will lose. Their body weights need to be equal, or it isn't a fair fight.

    Since they require different diets, it just makes sense to keep them segregated until later on.
     
  4. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Quote:If your chicks were 18 weeks old, the feed store girl is right. If they are but 10 weeks old, she was wrong, very wrong.
     
  5. Cowgirl71

    Cowgirl71 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Missouri Ozarks
    [​IMG] from Missouri!!! [​IMG]

    I hate to be the party pooper, but mixing six week old chicks with mature hens is not really an option. I would bet money on it that one or all of the chicks would be killed by the hens within two days. Six week olds are just too small, they're still babies. Depending on where you're located, it may be too cold at night for the babies to go out side just yet too.

    The soonest I myself mix them is when the young ones are four months old (almost full-grown), at which point they're old enough to eat the layer feed anyway.
     
  6. KimberlyJ

    KimberlyJ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 13, 2010
    Fred's Hens :

    Do not feed layer pellets/crumbles to pullets until they are absolutely at POL. Squatting to beat the band, and most of them, not just the "early girl".

    I bring on new pullets every six months. I simply keep two flocks. Trying to integrate a dozen little ones with 6 older, experienced hens is to set up a pecking contest the little ones will lose. Their body weights need to be equal, or it isn't a fair fight.

    Since they require different diets, it just makes sense to keep them segregated until later on.

    I agree with Fred's Hens, but not all of us can keep two flocks. We have two groups of birds 13 weeks apart in age. It was difficult blending them together. Fred's Hen is right--their body weights need to be equal. I started integrating when the younger ones were just 8 weeks old. I should have waited until they were 16 weeks old like I read on here. I fed everyone flock raiser with oyster shell available at all times for the layers.​
     
  7. Dixiedoodle

    Dixiedoodle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2007
    Quote:I agree with Fred's Hens, but not all of us can keep two flocks. We have two groups of birds 13 weeks apart in age. It was difficult blending them together. Fred's Hen is right--their body weights need to be equal. I started integrating when the younger ones were just 8 weeks old. I should have waited until they were 16 weeks old like I read on here. I fed everyone flock raiser with oyster shell available at all times for the layers.

    ______________________-
    I agree! I would never put the chicks into the coop w/ hens.. you could divide the coop into two differnet sections. I did this w/ chain link fencing kennel panels.. It worked great.. I waited until the little girls were 14 weeks old to let them free range together. At 18weeks they were roosting together..
     
  8. ikatiemay

    ikatiemay Chillin' With My Peeps

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    uh oh!!! My son is starting a new flock and he has 6 extra 3 wk old chicks for me. My girls are all 10 mo old and laying,we have 2 roos also. I was hoping to be able to put them together sooner than later! I dont have a good set up for 2 flocks. WHAT NOW?? do I plan on finding a new home for the babys? How do I keep my flock with younger girls to lay? Do people get rid of all of the girls and start over [​IMG] Sounds like I really have a problem huh?
     
  9. Ryan McEachern

    Ryan McEachern Out Of The Brooder

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    Hmmm, I don't think its that cut and dry. Lots of flocks co-exist with different sizes and ages of chooks. Having lots of room, a variety of refuge places, and enough feeding and watering stations to stop crowding at those critical places is important.

    Three weeks is too young without a broody to guard them, but once they start to look more like little minature pullets, and have good speed, and start to learn the social ins and out of chicken behaiviour from each other, they will be able to integrate. Remember that some broodies ignore their chicks at a pretty young age and let them fend for themselves.

    I guess it also depends on whether you are running a farm type barnyard flock, or more of a pet operation. Lots of good advice on here, just hard to pick what applies to you in your situation. [​IMG]
     
  10. Dixiedoodle

    Dixiedoodle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2007
    My coop isn't set up for two flocks but I just put a large dog crate inside the coop for the little ones to sleep in and during the day they went into a small place divided off by a panel. As they grew--each morning -I would open the crate door and they would walk at into the run and wait at the gate for me to open their stop.. My dd said they were smarter than my dogs... Think outside the box and it will work... It took a little more work from me but it was well worth the effort!

    Do you quarantine?
     

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