When to move from brooder to coop

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by eggoland, Feb 13, 2013.

  1. eggoland

    eggoland Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 3, 2012
    Western Colorado
    Let me start off by THANKING all who have helped me with my first year of backyard eggs! Haven't lost a chick or hen. I will be getting some pullets this spring & I would like to know at what age to put the new pullets in with my laying hens? I have heard stories of the hens pecking the pullets to death. All of my hens get along fine with each other. I have a RIR who rules the coop, she's not mean, just lets the other hens know she is top hen. She is also the most friendly & loves to fly up into your coat hood & hang out with you. She isn't earmarked for the freezer yet as she is just a year old. No roosters to worry about as my city doesn't allow them.
  2. ChicKat

    ChicKat Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Introducing new chickens to existing flock can be very tricky. That is due to chickens and their pecking order.

    Some tips are:
    • to go very slowly,
    • make sure that the new chickens are about the same size as the existing flock...for chicks that would be about 16-weeks.
    • Make sure that they have seen each other a lot (through fencing preferably at first)
    • Let them free range together, so you can see if the old flock just ignores the newcomers or goes on the attack.
    • Have places that the newly introduced chicks can escape from the old chickens.
    • If you have a chance move the old flock into the place the new flock is -- rather than vice versa
    • Never put in just one new chicken with an existing flock if you can help it-- put in several new ones
    • When it is time for a permanent housing move..introduce the new chickens at night -- so they all wake up together in the morning
    • Keep watch to intervene if needed at the beginning, in case one is being attacked
    • Of course, make sure that there is plenty of feed, space and water. Sometimes the older hens will guard the feed and the newbies can't get to it...if you have only one feeder, you may introduce another source of feed and water a safe distance from the originals.
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    When I've tried new birds under four months I've had fatalties. Four months seems to be the magic age around here.

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