Moving Pullets to the Hen House

Moving Pullets to the Hen HouseOur little baby chicks have turned into teenagers over the last few weeks and with night time temperatures close to 50 degrees, we decided it was time for moving our pullets to the big house.  They were also outgrowing their brooder and had escaped one evening while we were at our neighbors.  Moving pullets in with hens is physically easy enough.  We did it at night when they were asleep, around 10pm.  The hard part is listening to the pullets (our little teenagers!), get pummeled by the hens.  They’re trying to establish the pecking order out there.  It definitely exists in hen houses and they have to work it out.

Chickens and overalls - Go Gingham style!

I don’t like hearing how they’re working it out.  There’s a lot of squawking and chasing.  And pecking, yes, I’m quite sure that’s where the term, “Hen Pecking” came from and it can get pretty ugly.  The pullets’ beaks have been pecked and were bleeding.  Applying Vaseline helps to heal their beaks.  But, they have to work it out.

Moving Pullets to the Hen House

Putting young pullets in with laying hens is like sending a your 6th grader off to high school with a bunch of bullies and no dean of discipline to monitor what’s going on or issue detention.  Yes, those hens and pullets have to work it out.

Moving Pullets to the Hen House

We keep telling ourselves they have to work it out and I know they will but it’s hard right now.  They’re all our sweet pets but the big hens aren’t acting very sweet right now.  It takes about a week to work things out and I recommend keeping some Vaseline out near the chicken coop and handy for the bloodied beaks.

Have you transitioned pullets out to an established hen house before?  What’s your method?

Go Gingham related posts:

We love having backyard chickens and it works for our family
Chicken coop building basics and how to set-up a brooder for baby chicks
Our backyard chickens were inspired by a home exchange visit to Gouda, The Netherlands
Chickens do give you the freshest eggs!
Yes, one of our chickens is a diva – Caddie Woodlawn is her name
The good and the bad of backyard chickens
We have baby chicks and how to hold baby chicks with a video, too!
Recipes that use lots of fresh eggs: Betsy’s best brownies and egg salad sandwiches

Sara

Sara, creator of Go Gingham, is passionate about cooking and feeding her family healthy, real food. She's a green enthusiast, too, who loves to grow food organically. Sara loves to travel - especially by trading houses. An avid runner, she can also be found chasing after her chickens in the backyard.

9 Comments


  1. No! But this is interesting as we are looking into adding such creatures to our home life. Good tip re: the Vaseline!


    1. Kerry, you’ll laugh when you put it on their beaks – they try to lick it off but I’ve never actually seen a chicken tongue! Seriously, it does seem to help with the healing. We keep it outside so it’s handy.


  2. It’s very charming to read of your hen-keeping experiences. A Little House on the Prairie in the Big City. I had no idea that establishing pullets could be a bloody affair!


    1. Lili, when our kids were younger, we did a lot of pretending to be Little House on the Prairie – we called it “Pioneer Days” and it was absolutely sweet and adorable! We got many a garden planted, coop built and endless hours were spent (by my kids) in make-believe play around this concept. I just came across some homemade sling-shots in the garage from this time period, too!


  3. I love the upclose photo of the chicken’s face… That would be a great one to enlarge!


    1. Oh, if you only knew how many pictures we have of our chickens! It’s a little tricky to get them to stop moving and say, “Cheese” so there are a lot of chick, pullet, and hen pictures. Thanks for your comment!


  4. The big day! Congrats both pullets and SaraFamily! When the hen-pecking got too severe in our coop, we would separate the new hens with wire (giving them their own food and water) for most of the day… in time, they blended – but it gave them some respite. (Have a great week both chickens and Sara!)


    1. Corinne, thank you! Yes, you most certainly have experience in this department. We did try this “separating” thing the last go around but I got lazy this time and said just toss them in and they’ll work it out! They are getting along so much better today and all is quiet in the hen house – well, until it’s determined whether or not we have another rooster 🙂


  5. Wow – I had no idea it was so an ordeal! I am glad you know what you are doing so I can ask you when the time comes for us to do the same!

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