When Can you Mix Young and Old?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by scrambledmess, Apr 11, 2011.

  1. scrambledmess

    scrambledmess Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 26, 2008
    NW Ohio
    What is the right age to put young pullets/roos in with the older hens? I have 20 older chicks in a hoop tractor. They are really starting to out grow it. I got them first of March from Rural King. So they are about 6 weeks old. If you can believe it, I have two that still have fuzzy/fluffy feathers and aren't fully feather yet. They seem to be the same breed, same color etc.

    I plan on keeping any pullets. The roos (all except one or two) are going to be butchered when a bit bigger. If I could take at least the pullets out and put them with the hens, it would free up some space. I just don't want the hens to tear them up.

  2. scrambledmess

    scrambledmess Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 26, 2008
    NW Ohio

    I could really use some thoughts on this, please.
  3. Emmalion

    Emmalion Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 2, 2011
    Western Massachusetts
    Your best bet is to put them all near eachother for a week or more so they can see/smell and whatnot without having the opportunity to peck at them. Once the introductions are set you can let them out together to see how they do.

    Now as for age it would all depend on what climate you are in. If its already spring out there without freezing temps then I would put them all in the coop when they are fully feathered (no age as some feather out faster and slower than others)
  4. sophiejw

    sophiejw Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 2, 2010
    Do they free range? What I've done with my existing flock and new youngsters is let them all out so they are ranging together but they put themselves back to bed in their respective houses. Then after a few weeks of this it's been OK to put some of the little ones in with the big ones as they are used to one another. I think I've let the little ones start ranging from about 8 - 10 weeks.

    But make sure you watch them to be sure the big ones aren't giving them too much of a hard time.
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2011
  5. scrambledmess

    scrambledmess Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 26, 2008
    NW Ohio
    Thanks for the ideas. I will work on it the next couple of weeks.
  6. nuttyredhead

    nuttyredhead Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 3, 2010
    Southern NH
    I started letting my little ones (now 8 weeks) out in the run with the big girls last week. I supervised for a while then gave them a few minutes alone, and came back to check. So far so good, the only one is my phoenix roo, he hasnt been able to play with the others. He is a bit aggressive. Tonight i am letting my 4 8 weekers roost for the first time. They did not want to go back to the brooder. I will be checking on them in a little bit!
  7. Celtic Chick

    Celtic Chick Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 7, 2011
    SE Wis
    The general rule for adding new birds to an already existing flock is to wait until the newcomers are roughly the same size as the established birds. That way, they can at least defend themselves. Unacquainted chickens are going to fight, and unfortunately there is not much that can be done about it. It is just in their nature. But I would suggest that when you do finally put them together for the first time that you have the garden hose ready just in case anyone gets a little too out of hand. One quick shot of water should do it. [​IMG]
    I would put up a divider in your run so they can get used to seeing each other for a few days. And make sure your divider is sturdy. Angry chickens can be very determined, and I've heard more than once about people doing this only to have the larger chickens break through the divider and severely injure the young ones. I do not want to scare you, but at the same time, I do not want you to be heartbroken either if something were to go awry.
    It would be nice if chickens could all just get along. Unfortunately, that was not programmed into their DNA. Chickens are cruel when it comes to outsiders until the pecking order becomes established. Once that is out of the way, peace should once again return to the kingdom. [​IMG]
  8. Caliphe

    Caliphe Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 7, 2011
    NW Oregon
  9. Domestic_goddess

    Domestic_goddess Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 26, 2009
    I just replied to another post, exactly like yours! Please do your research, there are so many great posts here on BYC about this topic. I would not put young 8 week olds in with older chickens, they need to be older and bigger so they can defend themselves. It takes some time for everyone to adjust when trying to add new ones. Your little ones could possibly get hurt very badly, or killed. As others have said, Chickens can be very mean to eachother. Your little ones will be at the bottom of the pecking order. I would start letting them seem eachother through fencing and then as they get older you can try gradually introducing them. I have seen some on here, have a portable run with pvc, covered in chicken wire, that was light weight that they could move around the yard. GREAT IDEA! and then that way they could be safe, but still mingle.

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