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What age do you add the new girls with the older?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by vjbakke, Dec 18, 2011.

  1. vjbakke

    vjbakke Songster

    Mar 21, 2011
    Just preparing for the near future. Placed an order for new chicks to ship in April. My girls now are 9 months old. At what age of the new girls would be good to add them with the older girls. And what about feed? my girls have layer pellets now, I plan on getting stater crumble for the new girls. Totally new at adding to our flock! Thanks!
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2011

  2. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    I start introductions at 12 weeks. They can look but not touch. At 14 weeks I let them free-range together, but still keep separate housing. At 16 weeks I put them together if all is going smoothly. If not then I wait 2 more weeks. By 18 weeks the birds are all about the same size and can handle themselves. I don't even usually have to wait the extra 2 weeks and just mix them at 16 weeks. The newbies are maybe a hint smaller at that point, but usually faster than the older girls anyway, so can avoid trouble by being quick on their feet.

    I feed a flock raiser formula and offer free choice oyster shells separately. That way my roo and youngsters aren't getting the extra calcium they don't need.

    Good luck.
  3. This is only my pers. opinion, some may disagree with me.
    If it is not cold where you live, then they can go out at 4 weeks when they are done with the medicated feed (if you use that) Mine go into a separate area where everyone can see each other but not get to each other until they are 12 weeks old. Even at such a long acclimation, when you let them come together they will have to go through the pecking order of the flock and will get picked on a bit for a few days. If it gets colder than 45 no matter how old they are, I wont put new ones out there without a heat lamp in their area.
    As far as feed goes. You can put them all on non medicated chick feed and offer oyster shell free choice in another feeder. Look for a 18%-20% non medicated chick starter. This is fine for adult laying birds (better than layer in my opinion), better for roosters than layer, and your chicks will thrive on it.
    It is very difficult to integrate new birds if you dont have a divided area in the coop where you can acclimate young birds slowly.

    I feed medicated until 4 weeks
    non medicated chick feed 5 weeks to until I see an egg
    then i either continue non medicated chick starter with oyster shell free choice,or feed flock raiser, blue seal breeder pellet, or a mixture of any of those with oyster shell free choice. I think layer has too much calcium (especially for roosters) and the hens that need more will take it free choice out of another feeder.
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2011
  4. opalwednesday

    opalwednesday Songster

    Apr 10, 2011
    That first post is alot of great information.
    For my fock, size has been more important than age.for example, I have a young roster growing up with some show girls because theyre the only ones hissize and therefore have nothing to prove by beating him up
  5. vjbakke

    vjbakke Songster

    Mar 21, 2011
    We have no way to have housing besides the brooder. No way to keep them apart in the coop either. I'm not worried about temps, by the time they are 8 wks old it will be 60 plus outside. We will figure something out. My husband is handy with building things, he built the coop, he could make some type of temp housing and we could keep them apart in the run. We will go with the starter crumble that is the same brand the other girls get, i checked and it's 21% protein. Their layer feed is 16%. We are getting 2 easter eggers, 1 Salmon Faverolle, and one mystery hen ( meyer free chick) Right now we have 4 RSL and one Dom.
  6. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    If the older chickens are aggressive, 4 months is the answer.

    If the older chickens are kind of laid-back, then I have gotten away with merging flocks at somewhere between two and three months. This was a LARGE quantity of youngsters being added to a small flock of older ones, and they became simply tired of trying to be bad guys, I think. Everywhere they turned there was a youngster. They also had lived side by side in runs so were not strangers.
  7. JakRat

    JakRat Songster

    Apr 22, 2009
    Quote:We made partitions today with chicken wire. It was super easy. you just block off the area that you want, get a staple gun out and BAM it works great... cept our banty rooster did jump over and is now keeping our 9 week olds warm.... it is sooooooooo cute.

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