Question About Integrating New Pullets with Old Flock

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by 3domfighter, May 14, 2011.

  1. 3domfighter

    3domfighter New Egg

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    Apr 16, 2011
    Can I get advice from some of the experts here on the forum? We had a nice little flock of four chickens for our urban egg farm and we decided to add five more chicks who are now about 3 months old. I planned to move the new pullets into the chicken tractor we used before I built our old ladies a coop, then when they grew to full size I planned to move them into the coop. Sadly, two of our original flock were taken by a predator--one per night last Weds & Thurs. Whatever it is (bobcat, I think) figured out that there is a small window of time between the chickens putting themselves in for the night and me locking up the coop. That problem is now solved.

    When there were four of them, the hens would harrass the pullets and peck at the youngsters if they got too close. I've been watching their behavior the last couple of days and I have noticed that now the hens seem to be integrating with the younger flock (or vice versa). They're out scratching in the yard, roaming, and laying (laying down, not eggs) together in the little dirt beds they make. If they continue to get along in this fashion is it safe for me to secure them in the henhouse together? I feel completely safe letting them roam together without keeping an eye on the little ones to be sure they are safe, but I am hesitant to lock them into a confined area. Any advice you all can give me is greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    It sounds to me like they would be fine, that they're already integrated. Congrats.
     
  3. jennh

    jennh Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 21, 2007
    Lititz
    What I would do to be sure (can we ever be sure?) is put the pullets in at night with the older hens. Then when they wake up the next morning, they don't even notice. I've done this 4-5 times now with no problems. JMHO
     
  4. NYRIR

    NYRIR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have added new ones a few times now. I have a cage inside the coop where I leave the "newbies" for a week. Then I let them out in the am of the 7th-8th day with the others so they can figure out how to get in and out.It has worked very well and I currently have some 11 week olds that stay in the coop with the "big boys" and I haven't had any problems.Sounds like yours will be fine [​IMG]
     
  5. 3domfighter

    3domfighter New Egg

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    Apr 16, 2011
    Thank you all so much for the replies. I'm going to give them another three or four days of observation and, if they continue to get along well, I'll go ahead and cautiously integrate them using the techniques suggested.

    I can't tell you all how much help this forum has been for us in this, our first year of keeping chickens. Thanks to all of you for being out there!
     

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