Well Howdy! sunflour, aart, blooie, two crows, north fl chick! don't run off after sunflour's success. My turn in the barrel! I may need some help! I only brought a squirt bottle to this party!
Integrating 2 RIR's to my established flock of 15.
RIR;s and my hens are very similar ages. 7-9 mos. No roos. Orpingtons, Marans, Wyandottes EE's Austraorps, Deleware. I have them in aarts look but don't touch for now.
I hadn't planned to add birds and sure didn't want to disrupt my flock, but things happen. I broke some husbandry rules too regarding quarantine.
Backstory to explain my poor decisions so far: Pops, 83, gave his farm to his son and moved in here a couple years back. I love him to the moon and back and would never hurt his feelings. Knows everything chicken, or any other feathered critter, old school, hard core though.
Son got sweet new GF that wanted chickens. They ordered 10 beautiful vaccinated pullets various breeds in Mar-Apr. Closed flock, they live in the boonies. Newness wore off, they want less chickens. Pops comes home with 2 beautiful RIR's as a gift! They are gorgeous btw.
I set up a Q pen, just open covered, no coop. I planned to Q them for 30 days. That hurt his feelings terribly. "Do you think I would bring home sick chickens"? Rut Ro...
Think quick! "Nope, don't want these beautiful hens stressed!" Next day weather change, wind blowing, raining, night time temp went from 60 to 39. I felt awful.
Yesterday I set up the LBDT inside the run.
Coop is a 12X16 stall with ample roost space. Run is 16X24.
So... after my long story, how long should I leave the dividers up?
Should I let the RIR's get a feel for the coop and run while my girls are out free ranging?
I wonder about where to finally let them interact. If I let them out to forage with my 15 and things go badly, the new girls won't yet know where "home" "coop" and safe spot is. If I confine them to the coop and run, it's much more restricted space.