When is a good age to put pullets and a roo in with older hens?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by gmachicken, Jan 18, 2015.

  1. gmachicken

    gmachicken Songster

    Jan 18, 2010
    Grants Pass, OR
    Hi there,
    I have 9 older hens one is 6 years old and the rest 3-5 years old. They are 5 Buffy O's; 1 Easter Egger; 1 Barred Rock; the other two are not coming to mind. [​IMG]

    A new flock of seven raised by two Bantam Cochin are now crowded in a small mini coup. They are loose in the mid to late AM and are open to free range but I think the older girls are scaring them back into their run. Also the Mama's are very attentive even though the "little gals, 1 guy" are much bigger than they.

    The question is when should I force the issue with the young'uns going into the big coop? They are 16 weeks. Both flocks are on the same feed.

    Most of the big girls were the last ones I had and they just did it themselves.....

    The Mama's will stay in the small coop and run when the young'uns are transfered.

    Thanks for your help!
  2. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Since there are just the three youngsters, they may be a bit short on self confidence. The larger the unit, the more self confidence chicks have growing up. So you may need to step in and help them.

    If I understand the problem, you are having trouble getting the three youngsters to use the main coop. This is probably because they've imprinted on the mini coop as home. You need to coop them up in the main coop for a couple days, including the mamas, not letting them out at all, until they think of it as "home".

    Meanwhile, remove the temp coop all together. When you begin letting them out to free range again, you don't want them being chased back into the mini coop. Watch them for a bit to make sure they are overly bullied. Some pecking to get them to adhere to the pecking order is normal. But be prepared to intervene if someone looks like they're getting hurt.

    You may need to teach them to go into the big coop when night comes. Put them through the pop hole each night until they get the idea. At their age, it shouldn't take long.

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