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Mixing chicks with adult hens

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by AllChookUp, Jun 23, 2010.

  1. AllChookUp

    AllChookUp Will Shut Up for Chocolate

    May 7, 2008
    Frozen Lake, MN
    I have a dozen BR and Red Star chicks, about 6 weeks old. They are ready to go outside for a little bit during nice weather.

    I also have 10 adult hens, mostly BO and GLWs. I have the chick brooder/run within the main run for the adults, but sectioned off.

    I want to put some temporary fencing just outside the run so that the chicks can go outside to explore and scratch. I know you're not supposed to put the chicks in with the adults until they are about the same size, but is that a rule more for staying in the same coop, or does it also apply when they are outside? Will the adults pick on the teen chicks?

    Thanks!
     
  2. eastbaychicks

    eastbaychicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 19, 2009
    Livermore
    I would just watch and see what happens. As long as the babies have somewhere safe to run away the ladies will eventually give up.
     
  3. AllChookUp

    AllChookUp Will Shut Up for Chocolate

    May 7, 2008
    Frozen Lake, MN
    That's what I was thinking. The front of the brooder has a plexiglass window where the chicks and hens have been able to see each other from the beginning. I'll see how it goes, and let you know!
     
  4. Treegod

    Treegod Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 7, 2009
    Catalonia, Spain
    This year I experimented a bit and had a hen with two chicks, 1 month old, and let them mix with the others. They had enough room to run around and escape if necessary, and they made it. I'll be trying it again in about three weeks with four chicks I have.

    Does having a mother hen make a difference?
     
  5. happyhensny

    happyhensny Brown Barns Farm

    Quote:I think it does, she tends to watch out for them. Go near her, does she growl and puff up? The other birds won't like that attitude so they stay away.
     
  6. donnavee

    donnavee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 7, 2009
    Central NC
    We have 8 adult hens & 6, 9wk old little girls. A part of the big girl run is sectioned off for the little ones and they have been seeing each other for about a month now. Last week we started letting everyone outside to free range together in the evening and it has worked pretty well. They all go to their separate coops at night. Yesterday, I started letting the little ones in the run with the big ones - I cut a small hole in the netting and they can run into their part if the big ones get too mean. Mainly, they just chase them a bit - a few pecks here and there but nothing serious. My main problem is keeping the little ones out of the layer pellets. I had a hard time switching the big ones to pellets, but these little ones run for them and start eating like they are starving. Which they aren't.

    Good luck!
     
  7. Treegod

    Treegod Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 7, 2009
    Catalonia, Spain
    Yes happyhensny, she can be a little defensive. Not so much now, they've grown up.
     
  8. MareeZoCool

    MareeZoCool Chillin' With My Peeps

    I think there's always going to be some pecking order happening. The self- proclaimed queen hen will be sure to push the younger & weaker ones away from the choice food & treats, be sure there is more than enough for everyone. I usually put out two dishes or piles to give everyone a fair chance & less pecking at each other. Chickens learn quickly, so don't worry too much they work things out.[​IMG]
     
  9. AllChookUp

    AllChookUp Will Shut Up for Chocolate

    May 7, 2008
    Frozen Lake, MN
    Great points, MZC! Thanks.
     
  10. etux10

    etux10 New Egg

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    Jun 24, 2010
    I have 7 chicks ( Buffs) in a separate enclosure with the mother. They are about 2 weeks old. How long should I leave momma in the pen with the chicks? I also have a friend that wants the chicks and needs to know how long they should be kept under the heat lamp.

    I B ignorant sometimes:lol:
     

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