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What should I fairly expect while integrating?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I have 3 sets of chickens. 4 RIR hens ( 1 year old). 6 BR pullets ( 5months old) and 3 banties, unknown breed, 2boys and one girl ( 3 months old)..... I have been working on integration for over 2 months. We started each set in their own separate pens and coops but only separated by a fence. They see each other and each will reach their heads through to one another sides and eat fairly close together, I open the fences during the day so everyone can roam together. The 2 older sets are let out to free range anywhere they choose to go once I get my eggs each day. The banties can go as well but choose to stay close to their coop,,,,
My question is this...should they get along and be able to share a coop by now, because they do not get along and can't seem to share a coop. The RIRs are terrible to all the others. And the BRs are terrible to the banties but there have never been any injuries or even any serious bites. A lot of chasing and pecking and keeping one another from food. The RIRs seem to just get bored and go look for a BRto chase off. They even chase away squirrels and blue jays and what not....( each set gets along great with their own hatch mates)
I feel like at least the 2 older sets should be able to share a coop by now. If what I have is acceptable integration then I will quit worrying. I am fine with their setups and having 3 coops is not an issue with me but I want them to all feel safe with one another.
I FEEL like I have friendly interactive chickens, at least with me they are...but they just seem so bratty and aggressive to all our animals.
I don't want to have the wrong expectations on what should be happening because I feel it keeps me too involved in things I shouldn't be involved in.
post #2 of 9
Thread Starter 
Also, I'm curious if the banty boys will hold their own with the larger girls once they are fully grown. I'm hoping they will keep everyone in order once they grow up
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Not sure if my question went through. I don't want to be a pest, just curious if anyone has any thoughts on my question regarding integrating my chickens. I just want to know if they will eventually be able to go in one coop together. The main coop is much nicer and much larger and much more winter hardy. I feel as though they should be working out a better system by now but maybe I have the wrong expectations of their integrating behavior. They don't produce injuries to one another but there is clearly stress and tension among the different sets. To the point I have to put several feeding stations out and am constantly providing entertainment in hopes to keep them too busy to bully. There is still plenty of bullying when they are set out to free range.
Any thoughts on what I can do to get them in one coop would be appreciated. ( and yes, I have read through many many other posts regarding this topic but so much of the advice is for issues I don't have or are things I had and have been doing but they STILL won't mingle among different sets
post #4 of 9
Best thing to do is move new chickens into he coop while they are roosting, it helps with the surprise factor. They will kinda pick on each other(some more than others) but this is what they call the pecking order(kinda like the chicken chain of command). This could take anywhere from a few hours to several days before they calm down and figure out their order in the flock. Hope this helps.
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thank you for replying. I plan to add some BRs into the RIR coop tonight. I sure hate for them to get any more bullied than they already do but this has been going for over 2 months and they are still refusing to co mingle with one another. In my original post I stated I am fine with having the 3 coops but DH let me know last night that he won't be winterizing the other coops and the chickens can not stay in them over the winter, so I guess they DO need to figure this out.
I fear the banties are just too little to force the integration at this point, maybe not, but I know EVERY ONE picks on the little banty female, to the point she just flys to the top of her pen and stays there until the others are let out to free range. Someday a she stays ere almost all day because her banty roosters even pick on her sad.png
Thanks again for replying. I know folks get tired of the same ole questions but I TRULLY have been reading as much as I can before posting...
I wish I knew if I just have unfair expectations of what to expect with them. I get the impression that chickens just work it out and become a unified flock, wi some pecking order adjustments from time to time but mine are still as separate as they were when this all started.
post #6 of 9
I just introduced 2 RIR pullets two days ago and they are still trying to figure things out but it has gotten much better. They just need time.
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
I was confident the first few weeks that it just took time. That eventually they would unite as one flock, but after almost 3 months I'm losing confidence. I put the bantams in with the BRs because they all happened to end up in that coop. FIVE of my BRs ganged up on one of the roosters. I think he may have sacrificed himself so the other 2 bantams could get to a safer place within the coop. He had his face buried in a crevice in the corner and his body was so limp i thought he was dead..he seems fine now, no real injuries but he hasn't crowed all morning...I will keep at it but I feel frustrated for my chickens.
post #8 of 9
It is a very frustrating hobby or lifestyle at times!
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
It is! And I appreciate you saying that. I feel as though my family thinks I spend too much time with "just chickens" i enjoy them so much. I have been around animals all my life and I understand the dynamics between them need to be on their terms but chickens are so different from mammals. It's been quite the Rollercoaster education and my poor birds have to suffer through my learning curves.
I suppose we will eventually get to some fairly peaceful place SOMEDAY! Thanks for the interaction. I feel it has helped me to cope.
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