introducing chickings

The place to discuss everything else to do with chickens.

Moderators: Marigold, victorias poultry

dye29
Regular Forum Contributor / Laying Well
Posts: 166
Joined: Thu Jun 01, 2017 2:43 pm

introducing chickings

Post by dye29 » Thu Aug 24, 2017 3:01 pm

hi all i have plenty of room in my pen and would like some more chickens i have a hut that will hold easy 8 hens but only just put in 2 vorwerk hens at 7 week old at min can i add some bantam if i rear them or will they fight to death if i can whats the best way of doing this , at the moment ive fenced these two off from rest of hens but they can see through mesh
valeriebutterley
Regular Forum Contributor / Laying Well
Posts: 829
Joined: Tue Nov 23, 2010 3:08 pm
Location: N.W. Surrey

Re: introducing chickings

Post by valeriebutterley » Thu Aug 24, 2017 3:19 pm

I have had bantams and large fowl together many times over the years with no problems, they all seem to get on, my large fowl are large but gentle. Nothing much disturbs them.

I know not everybody agrees with me, but I do not know anyone else who keeps Croad Langshans, just the breeder I get my eggs from.
dye29
Regular Forum Contributor / Laying Well
Posts: 166
Joined: Thu Jun 01, 2017 2:43 pm

Re: introducing chickings

Post by dye29 » Thu Aug 24, 2017 3:29 pm

can i put some bantams at around 8 weeks say in with full grown hens
Hen-Gen
Regular Forum Contributor / Laying Well
Posts: 251
Joined: Mon May 15, 2017 5:12 pm
Location: Island of Fetlar, Shetland Islands

Re: introducing chickings

Post by Hen-Gen » Thu Aug 24, 2017 7:41 pm

No, dye29. They will kill them. You have to keep them separate until they are at least 17 weeks before you mix them. They should be readily accepted by then because chickens are relaxed about such things when the days are short.
User avatar
Marigold
Moderator
Posts: 5608
Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2011 6:27 pm
Location: Hampshire, U.K.

Re: introducing chickings

Post by Marigold » Thu Aug 24, 2017 9:39 pm

Another reason for keeping them apart until at least 17 weeks is that they should be fed on growers pellets at that stage, not layers pellets. Growers pellets are specially made to provide the right sort of balance of vitamins and minerals, protein and carbohydrates, to give steady nourishment that they need to develop strong bones and muscles and good plumage as they grow. Layers pellets contain lots more calcium than growers, because hens who are laying eggs need it to produce strong shells day after day. But too much calcium for younger birds who are not yet ready to lay can affect their kidneys and do other things to prevent them growing properly. So it's best to keep them apart from the older birds until they are at point of lay and nearly full grown, at 17+ weeks.
Move chicks on from chick crumb to growers pellets gradually at about 8-10 weeks old.
valeriebutterley
Regular Forum Contributor / Laying Well
Posts: 829
Joined: Tue Nov 23, 2010 3:08 pm
Location: N.W. Surrey

Re: introducing chickings

Post by valeriebutterley » Fri Aug 25, 2017 11:36 am

I think the previous posts said it all. I have hatched and raised bantams and large fowl together, no problems at all, all bessies. I have also introduced bantams in to my large girls when they are young but grown, no problem taking care of themselves at all!
elmdene
Regular Forum Contributor / Laying Well
Posts: 198
Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2010 2:38 pm

Re: introducing chickings

Post by elmdene » Mon Oct 16, 2017 8:26 pm

I have just one lone pekin chick who is now 14 weeks old. I have 2 potential chicken families for her - one with a cockerel and 2 hens, the other with a cockerel and one hen. She already free ranges with the former group and sits outside their coop when they are shut in, but is quite scared of going in overnight with them, understandably really as the hens peck her! I would much prefer her to go with the latter as I am trying to rehome them and a trio would make it slightly easier, but she won't go with them as they both chase her away. I know she should be a bit older before going on to layers pellets but I feel she must be lonely sleeping in her broody coop by herself and she also seems keen to roost up higher. Should I keep her separate for a bit longer (typically I am away for a week soon so also trying to make it easier for our chicken sitters by only having 2 coops and not 3), put her in with her chosen family, or with the other 2 and hope they grow to like each other?
User avatar
rick
Part of the Flock
Posts: 1268
Joined: Sun Aug 31, 2014 12:52 pm
Location: Warwickshire UK

Re: introducing chickings

Post by rick » Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:15 pm

What breed/size are the two existing groups elmdene?
I would hazard to say that almost any integration is possible but it can be a huge effort on your part in attention, nerves and time the bigger the mismatch. No real problem with the pellets - as long as the growers pellets aren't medicated then they can all have growers for the next few weeks, with a freely available supply of oyster shell in case the hens feel they need a top up of calcium. (but as the pekin is going to be over 17 weeks I recon before full time integration then not an issue)
Depending on it not being a huge mismatch in size and character, and if you have the space/layout to do this, I think I would try partitioning the run and perch (ideally if possible) with the cockerel and hen group so that the pekin can interact and roost as closely as possible for a couple of weeks then maybe start switching things around - maybe splitting the other way so the cockerel is on the other side of the divide and letting the pekin and the hen sort it out between them for week or so - then re-introduce the hens to the cockerel together next to each other on the perch in the dark.
Being ready, of course, to intervene if at any time blood is drawn though letting alone if it is only chasing and a bit of bullying - that usually diminishes fairly rapidly once they are all living with a degree of tolerance in the same space.
If you could get the preferred group interacting through a partition before going on holiday that would be all you can do for now.
... I should add, my only experience in this is with a very pint sized cockerel and LF hens. Be interesting to hear what others with LF cockerel experience make of it.
... One other thought - when I introduced my pullets to the older flock recently it helped hugely to have a range of perches just out of pecking distance and in hierarchical heights so they could hop down a perch when tolerance got frayed but still, effectively, be roosting in the common space. At the moment the boss hen is roosting on the high perch and all the others are on the next perch down (but the Legbars are getting bigger Aerial so watch out!)
elmdene
Regular Forum Contributor / Laying Well
Posts: 198
Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2010 2:38 pm

Re: introducing chickings

Post by elmdene » Mon Oct 16, 2017 11:02 pm

Thanks Rick. They are all pekins and she is quite big already so only marginally smaller than the other hens. She is accepted by her preferred family outside of the coop in the garden and hangs out quite uneventfully with them, but the girls just don't like her being in their bedroom! I hadn't thought of giving them all growers pellets though - that could work.
User avatar
rick
Part of the Flock
Posts: 1268
Joined: Sun Aug 31, 2014 12:52 pm
Location: Warwickshire UK

Re: introducing chickings

Post by rick » Mon Oct 16, 2017 11:22 pm

Ah, that doesn't sound so challenging! With some caution put her in with the other two in the dark so they wake up together in the morning. May have to manually put her in for several nights from the coop steps and if you go away then an alternative sheltered perch would be a good precaution till you get back (just depends whether you have to shut them all in at night or have a safe wider enclosure.)
... If you have to shut them in together and can't leave the door open then you'll have to be up before dawn to open it so she can get out if things get too heated.
Post Reply

Return to “Any Other Discussion About Chickens”