When can I put my pullets out with the grown chickens?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by J. Jamison, Jun 11, 2008.

  1. J. Jamison

    J. Jamison Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 2, 2008
    NE Arkansas
    I have 17 pullets in the coop and I am wanting to put them out in the yard with the big chickens. They are 2 months old and really growing great. I need the coop for some baby chicks and was wanting to put these out in the chicken yard but I didnt know if the big chickens would be mean to them as far as letting them eat, roost, ect. I have 11 big hens and 1 rooster. These are my first chickens so im new to this stuff. Just wanting some opinions on this. Thanks
     
  2. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    They need to be near the same size as the grown chickens before mixing them. I don't recommend mixing them before 16 weeks. They need to be big enough to defend themselves against the attacks that will come as the pecking order is established. They need to be big enough to fight back and stand a chance winning. Your older chickens will even try to starve them to death if they take a notion. Your younger pullets will most likely hide and cower in the coop. At 2 months old you risk the older chickens killing them outright.

    Wait until they are older and larger. At that time this is the recommended way to integrate them into one flock.

    They should be in a pen where they can see one another for a week or so. Then put them on the roost with the older chickens at night so that they all wake up together.

    There will still be some fighting and squabbling but they will work out the pecking order for themselves. It is not something you can do for them.
     
  3. yotetrapper

    yotetrapper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 3, 2007
    North Central MS
    I agree that MissPrissy's way is certainly the best!!

    That said, I DID add some much younger, but it was a little different in that i had 3x more chicks, then adults. I added the chicks in at 5 weeks. And I was absolutely amazed at how well it went. I put them in with it in my mind that I would need to take them out again, but I didnt. There was a little (very little) bit of pecking, and still if a little one pesters a big one they get pecked, but there was NO ganging up like I've experienced before.

    It's hilarious watching my adult hens, they walk around with a look on their faces of utter contempt, but they've been SO good about it all.

    If you can wait longer, wait as long as you can. But if you need to move them in early, make sure you do so on a day you can moniter them. I was out to the coop every 15 minutes the day I put them in, as I've seen how quick hens can get youngsters down and bloodied. If your hens end up cornering the chicks (or any chick) and pecking away, you'll need to take them out again or else lose them.
     
  4. cheeptrick

    cheeptrick Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 1, 2007
    New Hampshire
    I bought one of those Pet Carrier Cages...and put them inside the coop for 30+ days. They can see each other and slowly over a few weeks I let them out. My older EE's accepted my Polish chicks pretty quickly...roosting next to each other and all now...like they were always there. The EE's are ginormous compared to the Polish...but very kind to the little ones. I have 2 baby 5 week old Cuckoo Marans I hatched out...they've been in the coop in the Sanitarium cage as it is now dubbed for 2 weeks. I've let them out a few times just to give them some exercise....but we've still got another 3 weeks before they are FREE in the coop and run. My polish are free ranging with my big EE's believe it or not...ONLY when I'm out with them though...so many predators this spring!!

    Enjoy THEM!! [​IMG]
     

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