Putting my youngsters in with the older hens in the main coop - Advice

JeanGenie

In the Brooder
10 Years
May 30, 2009
54
0
39
Birmingham, UK
Hi again all,

Yet another learner question if anyone would be so kind to offer some advice.

We have 2 full grown Pekin Chickens who are around 8 months old. Also I have 4 chicks that are now 7 weeks old and already living outside in a small coop, but still with some heat if it gets cold at night.

My question is can I put these youngsters in with Minnie and Myley, (The kids named them), or should I wait for a certain age before mixing them in. We have built 2 runs so they can stretch there wings on the grass but still be protected from passing predators, and have put these runs next to each other so they can see. The full growns dont seem to bothered by them, and in fact just carry one rooting around. The little ones are very interested and always gang up by the wire as close as they can get to the larger ones. A friend who doesnt have chickens said they should be together asap, but am worried for the little ones being picked on.

Am I right to be worried or am I just being to over concearned and am wrapping them up in cotten wool....

Many thanks

Darrin
 

ArizonaNessa

Joyfully Addicted
10 Years
Apr 7, 2009
1,798
42
171
Texas
If they have already been able to see each other then I would go ahead and put them together but supervised. Just see how it goes. Step away so you can still see them but far enough that they do their own thing. It might work out for you. If the older ones do not tolerate the younger ones then separate and wait a week and try again. You might even put in a few of the older birds favorite treats then while they are distracted just add the younger ones. Good Luck and don't worry too much. They will all be living in harmony before you know it.
 

Chickenmaven

Songster
10 Years
Feb 6, 2009
2,064
12
181
Michigan
Your youngster to oldster ratio will work in your favor, I think. If you were putting 4 youngsters in with a large flock (10-15) of full-grown birds, I think you'd have more cause for concern. Also, it sounds like you have plenty of room.

My understanding is that there is a danger in introducing a couple of younsters to a larger group & that the chance of pecking issues is higher in a small space.
 

3peeps

Songster
12 Years
Jul 4, 2007
367
2
139
Yes, I think the numbers will work in your favor.

If you have problems, this is what I did to join flocks. I have a chicken tractor, but you could make a very temporary enclosure with fencing. I put the new girls in the tractor very close to the run of the older girls for a week or two. We also had two adults and five youngsters.

After getting used to seeing each other, I added the new girls one evening and all went fairly smoothly.
Just a few squabbles, but no mayhem as I experienced with some of my other girls in the past.

I've made quite a few temporary runs in the past with a circle of fencing and a cloth top fastened with clothes pins. At night I bring them in the garage for safety. Pain in the butt for a while, but it's cheap and it works.
 
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