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Introducing young flock to new ~18wk olds?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

We have a flock we've been raising from chicks - 7 (all different breeds) chicks between 7 and 10 weeks old. They went out into the newly built coop/run this weekend and are doing great.

 

Fast forward to this afternoon: my husband's friend has a flock of red sex links. Friend had added two ~15 week old RSLs to his flock without any integration what-so-ever (oi vey!) and the two newbies have been seriously picked on for the last three weeks. Friend offered the newbies to my husband, and he called to say he's bringing them home.

 

SO - I've read a bit about flock integration, but I'm wondering if anyone has any tips on adding two 18 week old birds to an existing flock that is younger than them?

 

I'm thinking the see-but-don't-touch method is going to be our best bet, especially because one of our existing flock is the tiniest little thing still (at 8 weeks old, s/he's still about the size of a softball, and slow-feathering to boot!) and I don't think s/he could defend itself against a bird more than twice its size/age.

 

Anyone done this before? Any tips?

 

Just for fun, here's a picture of Liz Taylor/Waffle, our tiny, slow feathering wonder.

 

 


Edited by MrsZilla - 6/1/16 at 3:47pm
post #2 of 4
First off I think your chick is a rooster. 😀 I would be prepared for it to take longer with integration with the older group. As you've seen it should never be rushed. So I would make each group it's own pen next to each other. I would work on integrating your younger ones first and leave the older penned for a while longer. After your chicks are accepted you can try to get the older ones integrated, which will be a bit harder.

For the young ones, after about a week of confinement within the coop where everyone can see them, I start letting the young ones out. If things get rough I always separate and try the next day, the first time may take minutes or they could be left alone, it can take days or even weeks before everyone is tolerated. Having enough room and places for everyone to go and get away from each other and stuff to hide in or under can help.

Your group will integrate faster due to their age, the new ones might take longer because they are getting close to being adults and will be viewed as intruders so expect some problems and potentially keeping them penned separately for a while. Hopefully your set up is big enough to accommodate everyone comfortably.
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
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Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldhenlikesdogs View Post

First off I think your chick is a rooster. 😀 I would be prepared for it to take longer with integration with the older group. As you've seen it should never be rushed. So I would make each group it's own pen next to each other. I would work on integrating your younger ones first and leave the older penned for a while longer. After your chicks are accepted you can try to get the older ones integrated, which will be a bit harder.

For the young ones, after about a week of confinement within the coop where everyone can see them, I start letting the young ones out. If things get rough I always separate and try the next day, the first time may take minutes or they could be left alone, it can take days or even weeks before everyone is tolerated. Having enough room and places for everyone to go and get away from each other and stuff to hide in or under can help.

Your group will integrate faster due to their age, the new ones might take longer because they are getting close to being adults and will be viewed as intruders so expect some problems and potentially keeping them penned separately for a while. Hopefully your set up is big enough to accommodate everyone comfortably.

 

Thanks for the reply, oldhen! I appreciate the advice and will take note!

 

I'm not quite sure what Waffle is yet! He started out as Wendy, then Wendell when we thought "roo". Now it's just Waffle until his little feathers catch up with his attitude and we know for sure. :yiipchick 

 

Our group of 7 are actually the only chickens we have right now (aside from the two we're integrating). The 7 are our first flock since building the coop/run.

 

We have plenty of room to keep them all separate and happy for the time being (16 X 16 run and a coop with enough room for 10 birds comfortably). We fenced off part of the run for the new RSLs and they have a separate part of the coop at night.  The 7 are curious and they've been sharing flowers/grass/etc between the fence with the new hens.

 

New hens don't seem to care much about the 7 but seem to be happy to be away from the bullying from their previous environment.  I'm mostly concerned the older two will hurt our original 7 because they're so much larger/older. Things have gone well so far today, so we're planning to stick with the see-but-don't-touch separation for a several weeks.  The momma hen in me doesn't want anything to happen to our two smallest from the Original 7, so better safe than sorry. 

post #4 of 4
Sorry I was confused, but that makes it easier on you. I personally would keep them separated as you are already doing, give them a few weeks before letting them mingle to see what you are going to have to deal with than proceed from there. I am cautious too, I think it's just smart, you can't undo things if something goes bad, I've learned from such horrible mistakes and wish I had known better in the past, so it's best to take your time. You seem to have a good handle on it and I'm sure it will all work out in the end.
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
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