Putting baby chicks with 5 mo old pullets?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by havi, Sep 6, 2008.

  1. havi

    havi [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG] Si

    Mar 23, 2008
    Waco, Texas
    I have six pullets that are a little over 5 months old. Im getting day old chicks(banties) this coming Thur. My neighbor keeps telling me that I can put my chicks in with my pullets for them to raise. He said to put the chicks in there when theyre about 2 weeks old or so. The girls will know what to do and their 'motherly instinct' will kick in. Is this correct? I have concerns because my girls are just 5 months old. They will be 6 months old if I wait until the chicks are 2 weeks old. Im afraid they might peck them to death or something. What to do?
     
  2. bluey

    bluey thootp veteran

    Apr 10, 2008
    Washington, PA
    Keep them separate until the chicks are large enough to protect themself...

    That will probably be when they are adults since they are banties....
     
  3. cecebell

    cecebell New Egg

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    Aug 12, 2008
    Hillsdale County, Michigan
    We're fairly new at raising chickens - we've had our Golden Comets 1 year - so I'm no expert. With my limited experience, I would say that a hen doesn't have a "mothering instinct" unless she just hatched her own eggs. We've experimented quite a bit this summer with combining various "flocks" and have found that even very young chicks are pretty territorial. We had our established flock of 13 GC. 1 of these hatched 5 - we kept mom and babies separate from rest. At six weeks we returned mom to flock, she still is not excepted by flock. They don't draw blood, but aren't nice either. After few days away from her chicks, we tried to return her to them. She went after her own chicks!! Then we got 12 meat chicks and 12 ISA Brown chicks which we kept separate about 10 weeks. After butchering meats, we added ISAs to original flock. They haven't killed each other, but original flock chase, peck, etc, the ISAs, the mama, & her chicks. Whew, Iguess we're learning the hard way. Hope this helps.
     
  4. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

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    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    I would keep them separate until the banties are 18-20 weeks old, primarily because they will need to eat chick food until then. Your pullets should be going on layer feed about now, which has too much calcium for the chicks' systems. When the chicks are older, from about 10 weeks & up, you could let them all free-range with the older ones, to let them all start to get acquainted, but they should be kept out of each other's feeders.

    Older chickens will usually peck at younger chicks, but rarely kill them. Although they can cause injury they may not have really meant.

    As far as pullets having "motherly instincts", I wouldn't count on it. Many laying breeds have had those broody motherly instincts intentionally bred out of them. Some will occasionally go broody & want to set a clutch of eggs, but very very few will be inspired to feel maternal just by the sight of unfamiliar chicks.

    I wish you success with both your broods!
     

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