pullets and older hens

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by fornese, May 22, 2008.

  1. fornese

    fornese Out Of The Brooder

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    May 22, 2008
    Vanceboro
    Hi folks, I have 5 RIR 1 year old hens. I also have 5 RIR pullets that are 8 -9 weeks old. I was told that the older ones would really pound on the younger so I have the little girls in a cage separating them in the coop. After one week they will still act aggresive towards the younger ones. How long will it take for everybody to get along?
     
  2. chickflick

    chickflick Overrun With Chickens

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    Mar 10, 2007
    Dimondale
    I would definately keep them separated awhile longer. Until they are almost the same size. The younger ones need to be able to get away from the older ones. If the older, bigger hens get a hold of the younger ones, they can kill them. Have you ever seen your older hens find a frog or catch another bird in their pen? They'll tear them apart. To them, if it's smaller, it's food. So be safe and wait until they're about 4 months old...or almost as big as your older hens. You can make a separate run in the run for the younger ones to "mingle" with the older birds while being separated from them. The more exposure the better....but still watch them when the day comes when you let them all together. There will be lots of pecking still.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2008
  3. chickflick

    chickflick Overrun With Chickens

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    Oh.....[​IMG] Glad you found us. There's a bunch of nice people on this forum!!
     
  4. estpr13

    estpr13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 18, 2008
    Lexington, Ky
    I would introduce them now, but be the momma to the young ones and keep the older hens away. Natural curiosity will get them together to check each other out. Enventually you can become less and less of a protector as a pecking order is sorted out.
    My 5 week olds are out and around with the rest of my hens all day with out much supervision from me, and without any problems, but they have been getting use to each other for about 4 weeks now.

    Yes, I took the one week olds out in the yard and let them run around until they got cool and started to huddle up. Then I took them in for the day. Mean while, the hens came up to check them out and I would push them away like a momma hen would.
    I also think a lot has to do with the breed of hens you have. Mine are all gentle, so fewer problems.
     
  5. JDH

    JDH Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 19, 2007
    I just did this. I introduced 2 young pullets (polish and a blue cochin) to my 6 adult hens. I would bring the 2 little one's out in the common area and let them run around with the big girls while under adult supervision. At night they'd go to their separate coops/cages. I did this for a few weeks. Then I put the little one's in the big girls coop at night and removed them in the morning to their own area. The big girls got used to the little girls and believe it or not, there has been no bullying of them. Now the 2 young pullets are integrated in with the big girls and so far, so good.


    I also believe that the breeds you have can make it easier or harder. I have very docile, gentle breeds as shown in my signature line.
     

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