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Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by tonyfunhouse, Jan 8, 2013.
How do we get them into the flock without getting the chicks hurt? Thanks Tony
Mixing with how many adults?
My usual is to put them where they can be seen and heard but not interact. Like a dog crate or something inside their run for a few days to a week. Then at night, mix them into the flock so everyone wakes up together. Then that morning, just as everyone is waking up, do something to cause a bit of chaos. Scatter around a favored treat, etc. And be sure that the little ones have somewhere they can get away too as needed.
I have 8 big hens in my flock and one small rooster ? That sounds like a good plan if they start getting beat up should i put them back in the dog cage? thx tony
Yes, but some posturing and pecking is normal. If they react like the youngsters I have integrated in the past they will spend the first week or so avoiding conflict by being wherever the others aren't and then slowly shrinking the 'safety zone' around the adults. They will still get pecked on a bit but it shouldn't be too bad.
ok i it sounds like a good plan i will try that idea thanks Tony
I actually do not ever put chicks that age in with adult birds. I've had even adult birds get severly injured at integration so I never put youngsters in. I wait until they are 14 to 16 weeks old so they are closer in size. I keep them in a grow out pen right alongside the older girls from the time they are 5 weeks old so everybody has lots of time to get used to seeing each other before they ever share space. When they finally do go out together the pecking and chasing is minimal.
You can try the "slip them in at night" thing but honestly, it's never, ever worked for me. The older birds always know there are strangers or newbies in the coop when they get up and the young ones can really get pecked if you are not there to keep an eye on things.
well we will try that and one other thing we also have a baby roster and he is big but they peck at him to and they always see each other and they first did not like albert our roster then when he grew up they started to like him and the teenagers do not like to come down unless the big chickens r out of the coop. (The teenagers) eat so they bareley get to eat but we put some food up on the place they hag out on
I have a small prefab backyard pine coop in my large chicken run. I put youngsters in here once they are out of the brooder. In my adult flock I currently have 22 Australorp hens and 2 Australorp Roosters who all roost together in an open face shelter (Australia's weather gets very hot). They usually take great interest in the new babies but can only look and not touch. By the time they are 9-10 wks old I add a little run on to the front of the baby coop so they can come part way into the adult yard. I must add that each morning a small door gets opened in the adult yard to allow the flock to free range on our 100 acres. So the babies see the adults come and go all day and learn the routine of the flock early on. By around 11-12 weeks I remove the little run and let them all mix. Interestingly the adults will discipline youngsters but have never been aggressive. Also even though the door gets opened each morning the youngsters rarely leave the large run until they are nearly 20 wks they seem to just wait in the large yard until the adults come home at night and even then still roost in their little coop until I lock them out in preparation for the next batch