When to mix chicks and adult Hens ( and food)


In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 23, 2014
Hello All!
I am new and look forward to talking with you all. I live in southern New Jersey so anyone from down here say hello :). Now back to my question. I currently have three hens.. 2 barred rocks and my Buff Orpington AKA the The Buff. I also have 3 chicks which include a buff orpington a light brahama and a cuckoo maran. I wanted to know when I can put the chicks in the coop with the big hens. It makes my basement look like a wood shop even with the aspen shavings I use. Right now they are around 8-9 weeks. With temperatures here getting to be 40-70 F degreases. But inside the coop is always warmer. So I wanted to know if I can put the chicks in the with the Hens and what to do about feed. Do I mix chick starter with egg layer pellets. Or can the chicks just eat egg layer pellets?
Welcome to BYC.
Don't feed layer to non laying chickens. You can feed them all a grower or all flock feed. The extra calcium in the layer can cause harm to the chicks kidneys. At eight weeks the chicks should be alright with the temperatures. However they may not be able to handle being put in with the adult hens. The best advise is to wait till they are near in size, around 14 to 16 weeks. If you can partition the coop or put up a temporary housing till then and allow them to see each other and get to know each other while they grow more it will go better.
Thanks I will buy some
I put a bunch of 4 week olds out with the adult hens. For the first few days they were in a dog crate, then I opened the door. We've had no problems. It is hard feeding the youngsters, because apparently chick starter is the most amazing thing EVER to the laying hens.
I think the dog crate will be a great idea the first time in introduce them but I think I will wait a little longer until they get bigger because once I introduced them this weekend for around 15 minutes under my supervision the adults started to go into anarchy and were violently picking my chick and I know it hard because my BUFF always pecks me hard when I walk into the coop and it leaves bruises but I have gotten used to it
I had a separate little feeder with chick feed in it for my new hatchlings and Momma hen somehow managed to keep all the other chickens away from it for the first week (she actually dragged the feeder over to her and tucked a portion of the feeder under her ). A few hens tried to "steal" from it during the day, but whoa, those hens learned you don't mess with Momma.

Now that the chicks are up and about, I switched everyone over to flock feeder and put out some oyster shells the hens. It's been a week and so far, no soft shelled eggs.
I am looking toward a similar situation. I have one speckled Hamburg that is into week 2 of egg laying and 3 Buff Orp's and 1 Easter Egger chicks--3 weeks and 2 weeks old respectively. I am hearing fully feathered and about the same size which is not a problem as the Hamburg is a sleek smaller bird. I have also read that an intro period of the newbies in a individual pen set in the main chicken pen for a visual adjustment period of a week or so as a good approach. Hope this helps

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