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Integrating Chickens - advice please!

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I have 7 (7 week old) bantams (3 silkies, 1 polish, 1 sultan, 1 black tailed japanese, and 1 frizzle). So far, the only one I KNOW is a rooster is the frizzle. They are currently still in their brooder in our house and I'm getting very anxious to move them out to the coop. Currently in the coop i have 3 D'Uccle roosters and 1 Cochin hen (all 3 months old). I know we have way too many roosters, so the plan is to rehome our 3 month old alpha rooster and the 7 week old frizzle rooster. 

I've researched a bit on integrating chickens and everything I've found was integrating chicks with full grown adult hens. Our chickens that are out in the coop aren't even full grown yet. Also, many people are saying not to integrate until 16 weeks old. There is NO WAY I can keep these chicks in my house until 16 weeks. The problem is, I don't see how we can create a designated area inside the coop and run that the littles can live in safely and still be able to access the common things like food and water, the roosting bar, or the door to go outside. How do people that don't have giant coops do this!?!??

 

We tried the "getting to know each other through a fence" thing about 2 weeks ago but that only lasted 3 days because when Monday morning came, we couldn't be there to mess with taking them out in the morning and supervising all day. Since then, I haven't had the chance to take them outside again to be with the others it isn't really an option during the week and lately it'll be beautiful weather all week, then BAM rain all weekend. SO frustrating seeing as we live in San Diego where it NEVER rains lol. I told my husband, "THIS WEEKEND is going to be the weekend!" But of course... sun is out all week and now the forecast says rain Friday and Saturday -__- WHAT SHOULD I DOOO!?:hu
 

Is it okay to just put them together and try it since the older ones aren't "adults" and sorta close in size? 

I want to make sure the littles are going to be safe, but they've out grown their brooder situation and all the dust in our office (which is now the "chicken room") is driving me nuts!!!!!!!!:barnie

 


Any advice would help, thanks!

Here's some pictures just for fun :P and so you can have a better visual of my coop situation.
(pics are a couple weeks old so, the babies have gotten bigger)

 

 

 

 


Edited by shalynnbrothers - 5/5/16 at 4:31pm
post #2 of 8
Thread Starter 

:idunnoAnyone?

post #3 of 8

Is that 2 separate coops with 2 separate runs?

 

Oh, your Cochin is a light Brahma BTW.

post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 


No, that's not my cochin... that's my light brahma lol. I didn't mention that I have 6 standard size chickens in the coop alongside the bantams.

 

Yes, separate coops and runs. They're neighbors! lol :P 

 

The 3 bantam roosters in the top two pics are my older boys, and then the babies are all in there too. We had put up a temporary chicken wire divider just for the day so they could be outside and see the older ones.


Edited by shalynnbrothers - 5/5/16 at 5:03pm
post #5 of 8

Your three-month olds are almost grown, so they can be treated as the "adult" group. The seven-week olds can begin to mingle with the older ones immediately using the "panic room" system of integration. It's so fool proof, I begin integration at three weeks.

 

The panic room in the run provides a safe refuge with chick size openings that the older ones don't fit through. Since the three-month olds are still not completely full size, I would bake the chick portals 7" x 4" wide. Food and water go inside so the small ones don't have to compete for these essentials. Chicks learn within minutes how to navigate the panic room entrances, and will always return there for safety. After the first couple days, you can walk away and leave them.

 

To read how it works and see pictures, click on the second link listed below my post.

post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by azygous View Post
 

Your three-month olds are almost grown, so they can be treated as the "adult" group. The seven-week olds can begin to mingle with the older ones immediately using the "panic room" system of integration. It's so fool proof, I begin integration at three weeks.

 

The panic room in the run provides a safe refuge with chick size openings that the older ones don't fit through. Since the three-month olds are still not completely full size, I would bake the chick portals 7" x 4" wide. Food and water go inside so the small ones don't have to compete for these essentials. Chicks learn within minutes how to navigate the panic room entrances, and will always return there for safety. After the first couple days, you can walk away and leave them.

 

To read how it works and see pictures, click on the second link listed below my post.



But what will I do at night? Take them back in the house to their brooder? or create a panic room situation in the coop and run and just transfer them back and fourth myself? :/ 

post #7 of 8

No problem. You move them into the coop with the older ones.

 

On the first night you wait until the older ones have gone into the coop and settled down, or you can move the chicks into the coop earlier in the day before nightfall, your choice. At roosting time, chickens are more intent on settling down for sleep than causing trouble.

 

The first morning after they have slept in the coop, the older chickens will probably chase the chicks out of the coop, but they know to run into their panic room.

 

The second night, you will probably have to teach the chicks to go into the coop. This is one of the hardest things about raising chicks, but it gets easier each batch of chicks. Just wait until the older ones have roosted and you go inside and coax the chicks in. It helps to have a night light in the coop for a few nights so the chicks can find their way in. it's really not hard at all. The chicks get the hang of it in three nights or less.

post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by azygous View Post

No problem. You move them into the coop with the older ones.

On the first night you wait until the older ones have gone into the coop and settled down, or you can move the chicks into the coop earlier in the day before nightfall, your choice. At roosting time, chickens are more intent on settling down for sleep than causing trouble.

The first morning after they have slept in the coop, the older chickens will probably chase the chicks out of the coop, but they know to run into their panic room.

The second night, you will probably have to teach the chicks to go into the coop. This is one of the hardest things about raising chicks, but it gets easier each batch of chicks. Just wait until the older ones have roosted and you go inside and coax the chicks in. It helps to have a night light in the coop for a few nights so the chicks can find their way in. it's really not hard at all. The chicks get the hang of it in three nights or less.

Wow... Sounds like a great plan to me! My husband and I are about to try it out right now.

Thanks so much for your help!
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