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When can chicks join adult hens? (Free ranging)

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Chicken_Girl75495, May 18, 2009.

  1. Chicken_Girl75495

    Chicken_Girl75495 In the Brooder

    Hi--I have had chickens since Easter day. My best friend gave me a Rhode Island Red and (I think) a brown leghorn that she had had for a while. The next day I went to buy scratch and the dyed Easter chicks were marked down to a dollar, so I got a dozen. I'm really surprised I didn't buy them all (good thing I didn't these are a handful!)

    The Dirty Dozen are presently living outside our back door (off my bedroom, next to the dog door) in a covered chainlink "cattery" (we built it for some sick cats we took in a couple of years ago for an overflowing shelter). They are having a good time, growing a lot, entertaining the dogs. They seem to recognize me (Woman With Food/Water), and they mostly get along although a few have had their tail feathers removed to the point of being a bit bloody.

    I'm thinking in less crowded spaces, they might not peck at each other so much, but I am concerned about the older hens: won't they attack the younger birds.

    We have an electric fence top (worked so far--we are in north central Texas with coyotes, bobcats and predatory birds--realizing the fence doesn't do a thing for the latter). Our cats are amused but have not bothered the adult chickens. (Well, one did, he got a good bite that became infected, and, sadly, he has passed on. The others mind their own business.)

    I'm interested in any thought, suggestions, etc. My friend said, just put three or so of them out there and if they make it, the others can go out too. [​IMG] We are attached to them (even if they only have the collective name), and we really don't want quite this extreme a "test."

    Looking forward to your feedback,
    Christine (I should have chosen Woman With Food/Water for my user ID, lol)

  2. Buff Hooligans

    Buff Hooligans Scrambled

    Jun 11, 2007
  3. Chicken_Girl75495

    Chicken_Girl75495 In the Brooder

    Makes sense! Thanks!
  4. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

    Aug 25, 2008
    Howdy CG, [​IMG] from South Carolina! (I'm a former Austinite, got lost one day, [​IMG] )

    I'm trying to integrate some 7 week olds with some 13 week olds, and they are giving me fits. I let them live in the same coop, with the younger ones in a big cage. They are going to fight and peck, to establish the pecking order, but when somebody gets hurt I separate them again. It's a day by day, well supervised process, and they are getting better, but I'm looking at another week at least of supervised playtime. [​IMG]

    Usually, it's a good idea to let them get to the same size. I am a bit rushed because I need that big cage for the next batch.

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