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Flock Introductions

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Our current flock consists of four hens and a rooster, australorps, about six months old.  We (meaning my well intentioned mother) just acquired 5 wyandottes.  I know about the 30 day quarantine, and have read some columns on introductions after that, but some of its contradicting.  Any advice?  What's worked for you and what hasn't?

post #2 of 5
We have one wyandotte. Our method is (when the chicks have grown into pullets or cockerels) 1. To have the older ones in a coop (preferably wire) and let the others play outside.2. Or to put the newbies (when they're old enough) in the roost with the others at nighttime.
-Goofy
Edited by goofychickens - 10/10/15 at 7:28am
"These violent delights have violent ends
And in their triumph die, like fire and powder,
Which, as they kiss, consume."
-William Shakespeare
Reply
"These violent delights have violent ends
And in their triumph die, like fire and powder,
Which, as they kiss, consume."
-William Shakespeare
Reply
post #3 of 5
And if they pick on them to much then buy some pick no more and put it on them
"These violent delights have violent ends
And in their triumph die, like fire and powder,
Which, as they kiss, consume."
-William Shakespeare
Reply
"These violent delights have violent ends
And in their triumph die, like fire and powder,
Which, as they kiss, consume."
-William Shakespeare
Reply
post #4 of 5

Here's some notes I've taken on integration that I found to be very helpful.......

......take what applies or might help and ignore the rest.

See if any of them, or the links provided at the bottom, might offer some tips that will assist you in your situation:

 

Integration of new chickens into flock.

 

Consider medical quarantine:

BYC Medical Quarantine Article

Poultry Biosecurity

BYC 'medical quarantine' search

 

Confine new birds within sight but physically segregated from older/existing birds for several weeks, so they can see and get used to each other but not physically interact. Integrating new birds of equal size works best.

 

For smaller chicks I used a large wire dog crate right in the coop for the smallers. I removed the crate door and put up a piece of wire fencing over the opening and bent up one corner just enough for the smallers to fit thru but the biggers could not. Feed and water inside the crate for the smallers. Make sure the smallers know how to get in and out of the crate opening before exposing them to the olders. this worked out great for me, by the time the crate was too small for the them to roost in there(about 3 weeks), they had pretty much integrated themselves to the olders.

 

If you have too many smallers to fit in a crate you can partition off part of the coop with a wire wall and make the same openings for smallers escape.

 

 

The more space, the better. Birds will peck to establish dominance, the pecked bird needs space to get away. As long as there's no blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down, let them work it out. Every time you interfere or remove new birds, they'll have to start the pecking order thing all over again.

 

Multiple feed/water stations. Dominance issues are most often carried out over sustenance, more stations lessens the frequency of that issue.

 

Places for the new birds to hide out of line of sight and/or up and away from any bully birds.

 

In adjacent runs, spread scratch grains along the dividing mesh, best of mesh is just big enough for birds to stick their head thru, so they get used to eating together.

 

Another option, if possible, is to put all birds in a new coop and run, this takes the territoriality issues away.

 

Read up on integration.....  BYC advanced search>titles only>integration

This is good place to start reading:

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/adding-to-your-flock

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 

Great suggestions if you have the time during the day to watch them, but I work full time.  What worked for me is putting them together during the night. There were a couple of awkward days of strutting and posturing, but no serious spats.  Used this method twice now, and its worked the same both times.  The second time was with immature birds, I waited until they were near adult size.

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