1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!

Mixing older chickens with younger chickens

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by firefighter9208, Jan 8, 2009.

  1. firefighter9208

    firefighter9208 In the Brooder

    Nov 4, 2008
    Springville, Alabama
    I have 25 chickens that were born on the Monday before Thanksgiving. 8 EE's, 8 RIR's, 9 silkies. That makes them 6 weeks old. I have a cousin that has 12 hens (production reds and buff orringtons) They are about 16 weeks old. His are overcrowded and he needs to sell a few. They are so beautiful.

    Could I mix them with mine without fear of pecking???? I have a 10x16 coup that attaches to a 25x40 run.


  2. crazyhen

    crazyhen Crowing

    Aug 26, 2008
    mtns of ,NC.
    It will always upset the pecking order until another one is established. I am going to have to do the same thing soon. I have two brahma mixes that are laying and I have to incorporate 6 12 week old buff o's into the group. The brahma already pecks at them through the wire.. I guess we cross our fingers and get out some scratch. let them out together and then throw out the scratch to give them something to do for a while. Strand back and let them get the pecking order straight. Oh I am dreading that. I can't hardly bare to have them hurt. Jean

    PS: If you bring chicks from off your property you need to quarantin them for a month even if they appear healthy. Jean
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2009
  3. chookchick

    chookchick Songster

    Aug 18, 2008
    Olympia WA
    Can you put together a section of the run that has a hole just big enough for the young'uns? So they can get away if the bigger ones start picking on them and have their own food and water. With such a large bunch everyone might just be confused enough to get along!
  4. miron28

    miron28 Songster

    Sep 8, 2008
    lenoir north carolina
    just did this and what a mess i have buff's that are laying and i just put all the new chicks that are about 2 months old and they pecked them till they were bleeding and had gone down to the meat. so i had to make a new pen when they get 6 months old i am going to put them all together! and they can duke it out!
  5. gumpsgirl

    gumpsgirl Crowing Premium Member

    Mar 25, 2008
    With the difference in those two ages, I wouldn't. It just wouldn't be safe for your 6 wk. olds. Hens are funny about who is where in the pecking order and your babies would be picked on. I would suggest maybe putting up some type of partition to keep them separate. There are many people on here who do that and I do it as well. Good luck with them! [​IMG]
  6. firefighter9208

    firefighter9208 In the Brooder

    Nov 4, 2008
    Springville, Alabama
    Ok guys, you've made up my mind. It's not worth it. He only wants to get rid of 4 or 5. I'm sure he'll find someone else to sell them to.

    I know when I buy a new goat I have to seperate it from the group for a while. I usually put them so they can see each other through the fence (electric on both sides). There is a very obvious "pecking order" with my goats.

    Even when I seperated the adult does to kid. When I put them back in with the other adult does the "beat" on each other until they find their place. So I understand what yall are talking about.

    On the other hand. What if they are all adults??? Can you introduce new adult chickens into an adult flock without the fear of them killing the new adults???? Just for future reference.

  7. turtle1173

    turtle1173 Songster

    Apr 26, 2008
    SE Missouri
    Even with adults, they will have to find their place in the order. The good thing about adults, however, is that they are mature enough and big enough to be able to defend themselves.

    I've been dealing with this myself in trying to add roos to a group of established hens. The roos are 18 weeks and tower over the hens (9 months old) but they still aren't fully mature enough to "know" they can stand up for themselves.

    It's been sad watching big ole roos running for cover crying like babies, LOL.


  8. Big Red's Mom

    Big Red's Mom Songster

    Nov 15, 2008
    Terry, Mississippi
    I added three new hens to my flock late last spring. All adults in both groups maybe a month apart in age. When I put them in with the established group. One of the new bird ran right up to the Roo and grabbed him by the back of the head....It was a fuss until she let go.....Boy did she make a mistake..He then turned on her...I was about to go in and get her when he went on...They are always together now. It can be very had to watch at first. I always keep an eye on then for the first day or two. It usually doesn't take long for them to get back to normal. I have also heard to put them in at night after they have gone to roost.
    Good luck.
  9. chicknsnbiskits

    chicknsnbiskits In the Brooder

    Oct 20, 2008
    Colorado Springs
    I have a group of 4 girls that are almost a year old (soon to be 3 girls when we eat the obnoxious one) and we're planning on getting 3 new babies. They will be less than a week old when we get them. This is a much bigger age difference than y'all were discussing. Is this a really bad idea? How do we integrate the little'uns without them being mauled?
  10. PatShea

    PatShea In the Brooder

    Mar 8, 2011
    Boy am I glad I asked before I went and made a big mistake [​IMG] the Buffs are pretty but my girls I've had for just 10 weeks but I don't want anything bad to happen to them I do enjoy them so [​IMG] Thanks everyone [​IMG]

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by