Our 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.
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.
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.
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