Let me give you some background so you can fully understand my situation.
I have an adult flock of 9. This was larger, but since Christmas I have lost 3 hens and 1 rooster to some type of predator. That left me with 6 roos and 3 hens. Yes, I know that ratio is WAY out of whack!! But 4 of the roos were supposed to be hens...yeah someone lied to me and me and in my inexperience, I fell for it. So out of my 6 roos, I have 2 huge orpingtons and 4 old english bantams and 1 of those bantams is completely in charge!!! He won't let the 2 orps eat with the rest of the flock and will barely let them sleep in the coop. Last night one of them found another place somewhere outside. I live in the middle of nowhere and they free range all day then put themselves up at night. I thought I had done a pretty good job integrating the orps into the flock but lately I'm really questioning that.
Next, I have 9 buff brahma bantams that are 8 weeks old. One of the hens I lost hatched them out right before New Years. If you look at my profile pic...you will see the mama and 1 of the chicks.
I kept them in my basement until they were 4 weeks old. Then I put mama and the babies in a different coop beside the other one. Finally I let mama out (the chicks are fine) and she integrated back into the flock like magic. No problem at all until she disappeared 4 days later.
I also have 12 - 4 week old chicks that I hatched in my incubator. They are orpingtons and welsummers. I took them outside today for the first time and put them in a cage next to the buff brahma bantams. This went fine. They are all about the same size right now. I brought them back inside to my basement and will try this experiment again each afternoon.
Do you think I should possibly integrate these 2 young flocks before letting them out with the adults? My roosters are driving my 3 hens crazy and 1 of those has become broody so that leaves 2 hens to deal with 6 roosters. I'm trying desperately to get rid of the bantam roosters. (Sorry, I can't kill them....Somebody else can , but not me.)
Now don't roll your eyes over this......I am also hatching out 13 more this weekend....so I have 11 right now...orpingtons, welsummers, and americaunas, and 1 bantam. YES I have officially gone crazy.
Thanks for any help you can give me
Edited by fradytrc - 2/28/16 at 3:02pm