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need advice

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
So I'm fairly new to chickens. I have a 10x16 run attached to a 8x8 coop and currently have one easter egger roo and 3 easter egger hens in there. They are 25 weeks old and look full grown now. I have some 8 week old barred rock hens I have had in a separate brooder I made and wanted to integrate them I know they need to establish pecking order but when I put the first one in, they attacked her. The rooster grabbed her by the back of the neck and the hens kept pecking g at her. She didn't do anything to trigger this, she just walked around a bit. It was too hard to watch so I took her back out and put her with the other chicks in the brooder again. She seems ok now but is this normal? Also on a side question I bought hatching eggs and they are in the incubator now. It's day 22 and they are alive, I candled them, but don't look near developed enough to hatch. They look like my others did at about 2 weeks. Is it because they are mail ordered. The last batch hatched in 22 days. I'm so confused. Any advice is appreciated. Thanks
post #2 of 9

Yes, that is normal for the hens and rooster to attack new comers. Here is a tip when you put the younger ones in you put them all in at once, that way the rooster and hens don't have only one target. Also you have to integrate them into your existing flock. If you just throw them in there out of the blue then they will get hurt. Here is a great article on the subject of integrating your new chickens: Adding New Chickens to Your Flock. Now about the eggs, I have very little experience with hatching eggs so I personally don't think I qualify with answering your question but your could stop by this thread: http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1046313/incubating-w-friends-come-hatch-learn-chat-meet-new-friends or start your own thread in that forum. Good luck!

post #3 of 9
If you have a cage like a dog cage you can put the chicks in them and put the cage in your coop. This way your other chickens can see them but can't harm them.
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much. I think I'll put the brooder which is 2x4 ft in the coop for a few weeks so they can get used to each other. I hope this works. I like all my chickens and don't want to have to chose who stays and who goes
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

This is the brooder I built
post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasondgarza View Post


This is the brooder I built

:thumbsup

post #7 of 9

Open a corner of the brooder so that the chicks can go in and out, but a bigger hen can not get in. This allows the chicks to have a safe retreat, and you can put feed and water there. The chicks will get braver and braver, but learn their proper manners, yet have a safe spot if things get out of hand.

 

Eventually the older birds will ignore them or only give then an occasional peck. The younger birds will be a distinct sub flock until they start to lay.

 

Mrs K

Western South Dakota Rancher
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Western South Dakota Rancher
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post #8 of 9

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

 

It's about territory and resources(space/food/water). Existing birds will almost always attack new ones.

Understanding chicken behaviors is essential to integrating new birds into your flock.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

 

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 #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the good info. I put the brooder I built in the coop last night while the older ones were roosting. Came out this morning to feed them and saw them "observing" the chicks in the brooder lol. The roo tried to peck at them but obviously could not get to them. It's not stopping them from trying though. Hopefully after a few weeks they will learn to accept them into the flock. So far so good. I'm so glad I asked you guys and thank you so much for the great info.
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