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Mixing Layings Hens and chicks together?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by BeccaSmith, May 20, 2011.

  1. BeccaSmith

    BeccaSmith Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 9, 2011
    Meridian, ID
    Hi everyone. I have 12 pullets around 7 weeks old. My neighbor has a friend trying to find a good home for a few laying hens due to having to move...I'm assuming they are around 2 or 3 years old. My pullets are not allowed to leave the coop yet due to their size and lack of outdoor protection from predators....I'm wondering if it would be a bad idea to try and introduce 3 laying hens into the current group of young pullets? Yeah or Neigh? What do you think?
     
  2. sfd34

    sfd34 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 10, 2011
    I have done it with no problems... Everyones experience is different. Although, I believe I have nice chickens cause I hardly ever have issues integrating new ones in. [​IMG]
     
  3. cmfarm

    cmfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 3, 2010
    Elgin, TX
    I think it depend on the perticular chickens. I had some production red hens and I tried putting 8 weeks old in with them and they tried to kill the little ones. But you might have an easyer time since you are putting the big ones with the little ones and not the other way around.
     
  4. chickensinwasillaAK

    chickensinwasillaAK Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 2, 2011
    Wasilla Alaska
    I would be sure to isolate those new hens for a few weeks to make sure no problems before you mix them and wipe out your pullets. Better to be safe then sorry. I'll be mixing in 75 pullets with my 38 laying hens but will keep them in pens next to each other for a copule weeks so they can se and hear each other to get used to mixing.
     
  5. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    It is good to quarantine new hens for at least a month (even then they might be carrying diseases.)

    Here is a good article:
    (scroll down)
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=2593-adding-to-your-flock

    I personally would wait until around 4 months old before adding to older hens to be completely safe. By the time they are over quarantine they will be 3 months old - you might be able to "get away" with it as others have said, depending on the personalities of the hens.

    I have integrated 2 month olds with older hens, but another time, the hens would have killed them. I had to wait until 4 months old with that batch.

    If they LOOK like they are going to kill the younger ones, get them out of there.

    You can always put some hens in a dog crate in the garage or in the coop to keep them separated at night when you are thinking about integrating them, to keep them safe.

    Also, it is good to dust the new ones for mites/lice just to be safe (and repeat in 10 days). And if they have diarrhea you can send a poo sample to a vet to check for worms.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2011
  6. Sorin

    Sorin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Glenfield, ny
    I think you may be alright since you are bringing the 3 new hens into a strange environment. Like cmfarm said though, every chicken is different.
     
  7. BeccaSmith

    BeccaSmith Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Meridian, ID
    Thanks for replies everyone! I've decided with everyone's responses to hold off. I don't have a way to divide them...and I only have one feeder and watering fountain and that is all I can afford. But I am puzzled though...what if I want to raise more chicks next year and the year after...I how do I go about mixing them together with my older hens if I can't keep them separated once it is time for the new chicks to go into the coop. We put our chicks in the coop with a heat lamp from the brooder around 5 weeks and they are staying there until we feel they are large enough to go outside and fend for themselves. And how does mother nature handle it? There has to be a way to do it without buying extra feeders and so forth...or am I just dreaming?
     
  8. valley ranch

    valley ranch Chillin' With My Peeps

    I think if it isn't too small a pen and the younger ones can get out of the way. Watch them for a bit to see how they act.
     
  9. nurseronda

    nurseronda Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 21, 2011
    Tucson
    Quote:I agree, don't integrate them immediately. Keep them completely separate. They have a totally different set of immune systems, bacteria, etc. Don't integreate them for at least a month unless you are absolutely certain they have not been sick. Then when ready to integrate, put them in pens side by side where they can see each other but not touch. After some time, introduce them at night when they are ready to go to bed at night. These suggestions all came from previous posts here on BYC and from my own experience, this has worked for me.
     
  10. nurseronda

    nurseronda Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 21, 2011
    Tucson
    Quote:I have 9-wk old chicks and I am about to put them int the "big coop" tomorrow. I am going to be getting more baby chicks again and will keep them in my little brooder baby chick coop for at least a couple months before integrating them. The process I have done before is to put the small "coop" inside the big coop where they can see, smell and interact, but not suffer pecking until they are big enough then let them mix.

    Picture of my baby coop.

    [​IMG]
     

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