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One mature hen and getting 15 chicks

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Hi - so our run got raided by Coyotes or Hawks. We had a storm and the fence was slightly bent. I don't know how but either Coyotes jumped over the fence or we had a couple of hawks. In any case only one hen survived. We tried to integrate our hen into the flock of a friends but she was terrorized and so we took her back. We will get 16 new chicks in a couple of weeks and I want to think about integration now. Last time/first time we had chicks we had them in a box in the Coop with a heat lamp. I thought with the hen given away we'd do the same thing but now we have to poor hen back. I was thinking about getting some mesh and divide the coop into an adult and chick area? Can they be together in a divided coop? Any concerns with bacteria or anything else?

 

 Again last time after a couple of weeks the chicks figured the going and coming back in by themselves. This time round I am not sure how this would work? When can they be safely outside in the same area where adult hens are?

 

Any bright/other ideas.If anyone has any bright ideas i would appreciate it. Bringing them into the house won't work, and I really did not want to build another coop for the one hen. For what it is with the surviving hen is a silver laced Wyandotte.

 

Thanks!!!

post #2 of 4
I want my chicks exposed to the flock as young as possible. They share probiotics and get started working on flock immunities. Instead of trying to raise them in a sterile environment and then toss them out to the cruel world, start building strong immune systems from the start. Dividing that coop sounds exactly like what I would do.

There are some things going on with you in addition to the normal integration since you only have one hen. Chickens are social animals and want to be together, but older hens are sometimes a risk to young chicks. The older hen may want to be with the chicks yet peck them if they get too close. They are not always logical.

If you have enough room what normally happens is that the young chicks avoid the older hens until they are old enough to force their way into the pecking order, normally when they start to lay. Until then you basically have two separate flocks that coexist. I’m just not sure how that one hen is going to act by herself.

I suggest you let them mingle when the chicks are off the heat lamp. Keep separate food and water stations so they are not forced together. You might PM Azygous and chat with her about providing a safe haven. The more room you have the easier it is.

Good luck!

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

Reply

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

Reply
post #3 of 4

I use a chunk of plastic fencing and divide my coop once I put the new ones in with the existing. No problems with anybody that way.

 

DH forgot to open the adult side of the coop one day and Hazel went in the new chick side and found her way through at the top to get to her side. I now have the fencing down until the next batch are ready to integrate.

post #4 of 4

Your surviving hen may surprise you by accepting the new chicks early on, so by all means brood in the coop as you've been used to. The benefits are numerous and there's little to no downside.

 

If it turns out the hen is going to be on the brutish side with the chicks when it comes time to integrate, using the panic room method will solve that problem.

 

You can see pics of my panic room setup and read about how I go about integrating by clicking on the second link below my post.

 

Predators will certainly notice a vulnerable spot in your run even before you do, so I hope you've discovered all the weak spots before the chicks arrive.

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