when to mix chicks with hens

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by andy, Aug 24, 2007.

  1. andy

    andy Songster

    May 7, 2007
    hi,,, when can i mix my two 7 week olds with my hens,,would the hens kill them,,coz they get pretty [email protected]@ed off when there near the chicks and go for a big peck at them.is it just to early,,thay mix alot through chicken wire so they all know each other
  2. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

    Jan 30, 2007
    Andy...I wouldn't mix them just yet...I have 3 month olds I haven't put in with my older hens just yet...waiting til they are alittle more mature and can handle being pecked at...Thats just my opinion and how I do it...if you have a place where you can pen them and see each other longer and then put them together at night when they roost then might go okay....I'd watch and take them back out if its too soon....
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2007
  3. EmsoffLambs

    EmsoffLambs In the Brooder

    Jul 13, 2007
    Chilcoot, CA
    I have some 5 week old delewares, cornish x, guineas, and turkey poults that I just recently let mingle with my 4 month old pullets and cockrels. So far so good. Here's what I did...

    I kept their brooder in the chicken coop. A couple weeks ago I cut a small door in the brooder that would allow the younger birds to go in and out, but the bigger birds can't fit. During the day I would let the big birds out to free range, so the little birds had free run of the coop and learned where the brooder door is. I kept feeding and watering them in the brooder and kept the heat lamp on at night to encourage the little ones to go into the brooder in the evening.

    At first I'd put the little birds back in their brooder each night before I let in the big birds. But after a few days, I'd just let in the big birds and the little ones would skidattle back into their brooder to avoid being pecked (they may have received a couple pecks, but nothing major). Now they all just mingle 24/7. A couple days ago I started letting out the little ones to free range. So far they still stay very close to the coop while the big birds range the whole yard. At night they still segregate, but aren't really using the brooder anymore.

    This has worked for me and has sure made things easier as the little ones were rapidly outgrowing their brooder.
  4. WindyOaksYokes

    WindyOaksYokes Songster

    Jul 17, 2007
    Central Virginia
    EMS... I did the exact same thing as you... I had 3 week olds go in with my 8 week olds... It worked very well... But next time... I think I am going to have to build on because I will have babies (3 to 4 weeks) going out there with 1 year olds... and that not good is it? or would this method work with them too?...Tes
  5. andy

    andy Songster

    May 7, 2007
    thanks for that ,,,i think ive left it bit to late to do that,,im goona wait till there abit older and stronger but in the mean time i shall be introducing them a bit more every day,, thanks#
  6. kybukabu

    kybukabu In the Brooder

    Jun 17, 2007
    Stateline NC-VA
    This very much interests me because I've been introducing my 7 week old Red Stars and 8 week old Mallard hens to my Orpington hen, Goldie, and her Silkie Roo.
    The babies were brooded in a pen in the workshop as summer is very warm here. [​IMG] I even kept the workshop fan on most of the time due to the extreme heat.
    Then 3 weeks ago I began putting the babies outside in an enclosed pen, like TuffOldhen wrote, where Goldie could see them and get used to them. My sweet little girl became a very loud complaining fool immediately. She's usually chosen to wander the yard eating bugs and grass (and my mini-roses if I don't keep them up high.) But she went nuts trying to get to the starter-grower in the pen, so I took the feeder from her Clubhouse and put it outside the pen. She shut right up, but she did seem to get a little rounder that first week.
    During the 2nd week, I started letting the babies out into the (fenced) yard during the day. [​IMG] Goldie's pecked once or twice when they've been silly enough to get between her and the 2nd feeder. But mostly they just avoided her and ate out of hers in the Clubhouse.
    But now at the end of the 3rd week, they're actually hanging out together once in a while and Goldie has become a little less food-obsessive. She doesn't seem to know what to make of the ducks as they are natural leaders and drive the baby flock.
    My Silkie Roo was never a problem with the newbies; he just looks a little star-struck now and then. I swear he's even hidden behind Goldie now and then. [​IMG]
  7. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    To get my young ones ready to go with the large ones I just let everybody free range at about 3 weeks old. Then at 2-3 months old, one night I just pop them into the big cage and they go at it in the morning and figure out who is who. And that is that. Never had a problem with it and I even do this with my silkies who weigh less than a lb while the head rooster is 9.... Just lucky I guess.
  8. andy

    andy Songster

    May 7, 2007
    Quote:thing is tho,, the hens go for the chicks while loose in the yard,,

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