Mixing ages in a new coop

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by B A Prince, Apr 26, 2017.

  1. B A Prince

    B A Prince New Egg

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    Apr 5, 2017
    The kids and I just spent Easter break building our first chicken coop, and immediately upon completion (about 10 days ago) acquired three Easter Eggers that were hand-raised by our neighbors and we've been told they are about 8-10 weeks old. We want to add three more hens, something of the brown-egg laying variety (rhode island, sex link, etc). My thought is it would be great if they were of similar age?! The closest I've found so far, from a local hatchery, are some pullet mutts about 5-6 months old. Three questions... 1.Any issue mixing the ages? 2.How do I handle feeding when some will need to be switched to "laying food" when the others are still on "growth" food, and 3.Does it matter if they're mutts versus pure bred (I just want great eggs!)? Thank you for any experience/advice you can offer...
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    Keep feeding everyone a non medicated grower. Add a separate bowl of oyster shells as your hens approach the point of lay. You don't need to feed layer ever. If you want to than wait until everyone is laying before switching. I find it easier to keep them on a starter grower or put them on an All Flock ration year round.

    You will have to divide your coop to introduce new birds so they can see each other through a fence for a week or two before letting them mingle to see how they are getting along.

    You didn't mention size of your coop which can can affect if more can be added or not.

    Many mutts lay well, some not so much, so it depends on the cross.
     
  3. B A Prince

    B A Prince New Egg

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    I think I'm good on coop size... I did a TON of research before building it (including a LOT of reading on this site), and the coop/run should comfortably accommodate up to 7 hens, and I really only want/need 5-6. I probably over-built their palace... HAHAHAAA!!

    In hindsight, I wish I'd just bought chicks in the ratio of breeds I wanted. I thought I was saving effort by skipping the "heat lamp" phase, and it sounds like now I'll have an equal amount of hassle integrating the two sets.

    OH WELL... the three are already part of the family, so no turning back now!
     
  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    You will just become familiar with the integration process sooner than you planned. It's always best to over build a coop. There is no problems associated with too much room, but too many when there's not enough room.

    Chickens are an addictive enjoyable hobby. Welcome to the dark side.[​IMG]
     
  5. B A Prince

    B A Prince New Egg

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    The wife said, "sure you can build a chicken coop, it'll be cheap and easy, right?".... SURE IT WILL!! Comp shingle roof, T-11 siding, vinyl floors, etc... by the time I was done I thought she was going to make ME sleep in it! [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  6. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    I refuse to admit how much money has been spent on chickens, can't make me.[​IMG]
     
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