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Jacqui

intro 12wk pullets to 18mth hens

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Hi All,

We had a small flock of 3 (light sussex, orpinton,barnevelder), unfortunately we lost our Barni a month ago.  I was always planning to add to the flock this spring but covid got in the way and pullets were hard to come by.  Our local breeder Higher Oaks Farm had a couple of araucana pullets which I've picked up (12wks).  I built a new coop and run for them all,(coop is 7' x 3.6' and run is total 14' x 7' with extension to come next month). 

I put them all in together but put some netting down the middle so they couldn't actually get at each other to try and get them used to each other first for a week.  Now i've let them mingle in the run, few chases and pecks but nothing too dramatic (no blood).  The younger girls are huddling together and being a bit skittish with them which seems to make the older ones a bit more bossy.    First night in the coop was ok as the little guys jumped up on one of the higher perches..

How long should it take for them to get on and relax a bit more? appreciate your feedback

Jaqblu

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Sounds as though things are going well.......they do, literally, need to establish their pecking order. They may never all be 'besties' but as long as they don't actually fight and do mingle happily then that's all good!

I picked up a programme on the Beeb last week (could have been the week before - the long quarantine days are just flying by 😖- with Kate Humble where a family were collecting what looked like 10 or 12 hens and they all went straight in together all at once. I though that was very brave!!! 

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9 minutes ago, soapdragon said:

.............. they all went straight in together all at once. I though that was very brave!!! 

and not something I'd advise. It's best to get birds of a similar size, so introducing PoL birds of 16+ weeks to an existing flock of adults. Quarantine the new birds first and treat them for worms and lice before you let them mingle after a couple of weeks.

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thanks both for the feedback.  I'm going to add some additional perches in the the run so they can have somewhere to escape if needed    will have to make some more feeders/drinkers to hang all over the place though.

The one good thing about lock down is we're home all day so can really keep an eye on them and the older girls wander the garden most of the day leaving the young ones to get more confident in the run.  They come and hide behind my legs when all are together so I suppose they see me as being the peace keeper.

still finding our way with chickens but they quickly became the my fav pet.  we have 2 dogs and a cat...the dogs got over it quickly last summer and all lounge around together and steal each others food...and the dogs keep out any unwanted visitors from the yard...

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