New hen additions


In the Brooder
6 Years
Jun 1, 2013
On March 13, I bought more hens. They are all hens. I have kept them seperated from the older hens that are a year old. I let the older hens run in the evening but keep them cooped up the rest of the day. In the evenings, the older hens and the younger ones run together in the evenings. I am not sure when I should keep the younger hens with the older ones in the coop outside. Can someone please help me? I have a sister that raises hens as well. She said not until they are at least 6 months old. I am keeping the youngsters inside and they seem content. But I would like to release them with the older ones so they can learn where their home is. What is the best way to combine the 2 flocks?

I've been reading thru some of the older posts that I've found and everyone combines their flocks differently. I am just not sure which is the best way. They all seem to get along when they are all running free in the evening. I don't want to put them all together and have the older chicks pick on the younger ones. And they are on different feed as well. I am so confused on the best way to do this.
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Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC! It is generally best to wait until the younger birds are about the same size as the older ones before combining them. Most people find that a long period of seeing but not touching through wire works well, split the coop/run or have the younger birds in a cage in the coop... not sure if I understood, but your older and younger hens are now free ranging together without a problem? If the younger ones are fully feathered around six weeks, and the weather is decent, you can have them in the coop, but you will probably want to keep them separated from the big girls for awhile yet if the younger ones were hatched on MArch 13th. There is a nice article in the Learning Center on combining flocks and various ways people do it.

Welcome to BYC!

If you are already allowing them to mix together than there is no problem with letting them all stay together. You would only want to keep them separate if the older hens were picking on the younger girls. As Kelsie has mentioned, it is always best to do a slow introduction from behind cage bars or a fenced off area where everybody sees, no body touches for a few weeks. This gives them time to settle in and the pecking order gets worked out without blood shed.

Good luck with your flock and welcome to ours!

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