When is it Safe to Put 7 Week Old Teens in with 3 Month Old Pullets?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by wsdareme, Aug 12, 2010.

  1. wsdareme

    wsdareme Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 9, 2010
    Yelm, WA
    I have 3 Marans "teens" (7-1/2 weeks) that I would like to move in with The Girls, who are now 3 months old. I have them in a small coop inside my large coop so everyone can get acquainted. How long do I need to keep them in this configuration before I can turn the 3 younger birds out with the older girls? Two of the young birds are roos. And what are your recommendations for doing it -- supervised only, at night when they're roosting, ??? I have some chicks in the brooder that need to move into a larger space, so I thought I'd put them in the small coop as soon as it's available. Thanks for your help!!![​IMG]
  2. JLS

    JLS Love my feathered babies!

    May 29, 2009
    My Coop
    I would say that you can put them together. I just did it my self on Sunday. I was told that most people prefer to do it at night. But my chicks (9 weeks) were much different in size than my hens (1 yr). I feared that the hens would really hurt the chicks in the AM before I got out there to open the coop up and supervise. So I decided to do it later in the day. I opened all the doors - that way everyone had room to get out of each others way.

    There was some dominence displays but it went pretty well. I will give you one piece of advice: dont throw corn or other treats out for a few days... thats when my older birds attacked the younger ones. They are very territorial when it comes to food.

    That being said, you will probably have little to no problems because they are so close in age.
  3. chickee

    chickee Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have two groups of chicks almost the same ages as yours that have been seperated by a screen. I have been opening the screen and letting them mingle while I supervise. Some of the older chicks go after the younger ones and I repremand them by gently thumping them on the back and making a psssst! noise. It startles the aggressive chick and eventually they learn to keep clear of the young birds. This method has worked well for me over the years with new introductions. It usually takes a few days of training before I feel good about mixing the chicks permantantly. Good Luck! [​IMG]
  4. justbugged

    justbugged Head of the Night Crew for WA State

    Jan 27, 2009
    I have 2 sets of chicks that are about 7 to 8 weeks old. They have been in the coop with the year old hens for several weeks now. I would watch and make sure that the older gals are not to mean, and have spots were the small chicks can get away from the bigger ones.
  5. azygous

    azygous Flock Master

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    My situation is very much like yours. Chickens are all different. Some are patient and accepting toward the youngsters, but one or two older ones, usually the ones lowest in the pecking order, may pick on the smaller ones. Some people just declare it's time to integrate and toss them all together and let them sort out the pecking order. But I feel better supervising.

    I overdid it last year, though. I had a bully that refused to let the youngsters come into the coop at night, so I would put her in "jail", a partitioned off section of the coop, to keep the peace. It had a lasting effect on her. While taking her down from her alpha position, it sent her into a permanent molt, she lost weight, and became withdrawn. She still isn't the same trusting hen I raised from a baby.

    It's a tricky balance, trying to keep the smaller ones from getting injured and traumatized while respecting the needs of the older ones.

    I have six ten-week olds who get bullied by three one-year olds at roosting time. I usually stand by and referee, moving hens to different places as the need arises.

    In two or three weeks I'll be moving my three youngest chicks (now four weeks old) into the coop. They are currently spending days out in a partitioned off section of the pen. There are three out of the six older chicks who bully them. It's going to take some real juggling to referee them all when this final merger takes place.

    They may surprise me and all get along. I won't really know until then.

    My advice to you is just keep an eye on them and don't let anyone get hurt. - This is the final stage of raising chicks - moving them into the coop and integrating them with the flock, and, to my mind, the hardest part. When they all finally reach the same size, it'll settle down and you'll get some peace.

    Good luck!

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