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What age to mix chicks with older hens?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by mstazs, Aug 14, 2009.

  1. mstazs

    mstazs Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 13, 2008
    Millington, TN
    I have 14 five week old chicks I would like to intergrate with my 5 twenty week old pullets. How old should I let the smaller chicks get before I can do this? The chicks are all feathered out & look great. They are about a 3rd the size of the 20 week old pullets. They live in the same coop but are seperated, by wire. The 5 twenty week old pullets free range, but the chicks I have only let out a couple of times. Yesterday one of the baby rooster got out & tried to join the older chickens, they chase & pecked him constantly. I caught him & put him back with the other smaller ones, he was so happy. I know there is going to be a pecking order, but will the older chickens kill the smaller ones at this age? My goal is to get 12 laying hens My chickens are mostly mutt breeds. Any input would be appreciate. [​IMG]
     
  2. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    Nov 18, 2007
    Florida
    My Coop
    I would wait awhile until they are about the same size. The older birds can really hurt the younger birds and could even kill them.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2009
  3. Chic Chick

    Chic Chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 30, 2008
    East Central Alberta
    I let mine get out and free range and they mingle that way. This is 10, 14, 20 week olds all the way up to the laying hens. The smaller ones might get pecked once in a while when feeding, but outside they have lots of room to get away from the bigger bullies. I let the young ones out at about 4 -6 weeks old and they gradually go further away from the coop, always staying in their own flock.
     
  4. ging3rhoffman

    ging3rhoffman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 23, 2009
    Yeah, you have to wait until they are about 16 weeks old. If they are smaller in size they will get beat up. Some even get killed. I have 23 week old hens and 12 week old pullets and i am going to wait at least another month before i even think about putting them together. When i do put them together i am going to spend a couple of hours watching them to make sure they are doing okay. If i have a real aggressive hen i might take her out and put her in a pen by herself or with others that are to aggressive and add them one at a time back in with the group.
     
  5. Anny

    Anny Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 24, 2008
    Detroit Michigan
    I allow mine to see each other once I tart leaving the little chicks out side all the time. So at about 6-7 weeks old or so. They can see each other but can not get at each other. I will set up a little run next to the big girls run or put them in a metal dog crate with the bottom tray removed so they can peck at the grass (instant chicken tractor)

    Then when they are larger I put them with the big girls.
     
  6. mstazs

    mstazs Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 13, 2008
    Millington, TN
    Thanks for the info, I am going to give the little chicks another 2 months & see how big they have gotten. Then decide on mixing them up with the big girls:cool:
     

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