Mixing chickens of different ages

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by ramzroost, Nov 24, 2012.

  1. ramzroost

    ramzroost Out Of The Brooder

    10
    0
    24
    Nov 19, 2012
    North Carolina
    I am in need of input. I have a chicken coop and run that is the home of my 4 hens and 2 roos that are 6 months old. Inside the coop I also have a group of 9 almost 7 week old pullets which are safely inside of a large dog crate (which is quickly getting too small for them). I am wondering at what point would it be reletively safe to let the chicks mingle with the chickens.[​IMG] I am afraid to try it because I have heard stories about the older ones attacking and I do not want to loose in chicks if I can help it. So my question is....when would it be safe to let the chicks out to mingle with the older chickens?Is their a certain age? Any input would be helpful as I determine which step to take next and when to make it. Thank you.
     
  2. AlivianAcres

    AlivianAcres Chillin' With My Peeps

    313
    4
    98
    Nov 20, 2012
    Elizabeth Colorado
    I am just getting to this point with my flock. 2 full size hens and 1 roo...plus 6 six weekers...I put the pullets in a crate while my adults were free ranging and my roo and a baby barred rock were picking a fight...I'm a bit nervous...I will be watching for answers too. Thx for posting this question :). Good luck!
     
  3. TurtlePowerTrav

    TurtlePowerTrav T.K.'s Farm

    3,382
    119
    208
    Jul 29, 2012
    Oregon City, OR
    My Coop
    Space is the key. And letting everyone see each other for at least a week, but cannot interact with each other. Then mixing them in a free range situation gives the little ones a chance to get away. You need to be there to supervise this. Roosting the first couple of nights can be rough, observe this time as well. I had to integrate my 9 week old pullets with my 6.5 mo hens and 7.5 mo roo. There were a few pecks to the back, just normal "you better respect that I am higher in the order than you" types. I had to have the tractor they were in for my broody that will hatch her eggs next week. I now have 2 flocks in one coop/yard. The 3 pullets run together, and my 6(5 because one is in the tractor) and roo run together. I am sure they will mix in more as they reach POL.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. Crafty-Duck

    Crafty-Duck Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,178
    50
    148
    May 27, 2012
    Lucky Duck Pond
    X2 [​IMG]
     
  5. CluckyCharms

    CluckyCharms Chillin' With My Peeps

    I recommend a reverse introduction. If you've had frequent interaction with your own chickens then only you know them best and know their temperaments, and can generally base that on how soon it may be possible to introduce others. It's on an individual basis. I would introduce the younguns to the oldies but **only** the oldies that have calm temperaments and have never been known to cause any sort of problems at all - the mellow birds that are lower on the totem pole (pecking order). After a while, I would keep the ones you know are more aggressive or 'bossy' together, and gradually "reintroduce" them to the flock the way they would be at the time (to include the ones that weren't there before). At that point your bossy birds would be the newbies and the former newbies (the younger ones) would have already established for themselves a place in the flock...and would be less likely to allow themselves to be bullied.

    I will be the first to admit I don't have a lot of chicken experience, but I do know this has been 100% effective and successful with very territorial saltwater fish. We kept a very docile reef tank this way, and had both calm and aggressive-by-nature fish living in harmony using this route.

    Fish aren't anywhere near a chicken - clearly - but I still plan on trying a method that has worked in the past with other life forms. =]
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2012

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by