a house divided - how long?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by chiques chicks, May 21, 2012.

  1. I have 6 SLW hens @9 weeks and 6 EE @5. I just finished the coop last week and moved the EE into it. A day later I introduced the SLW who had been in an intermediate coop w/ 8 roos ( I plan to keep one, the rest will be finished off for meat unless someone nearby wants one.)

    I was hoping breaking the SLW apart from a flock would ease the combining. The SLW kept the EE cornered and from the food. I put a wire divided down the center and provided separate food and water. They seem to be at peace now with a little expected probing through the wire. Generally ignore each other, although the EE seem curious. I have a camera installed to watch their behavior.

    How long should I keep the wire in place? A week? Currently they are confined, but will have a large run in the near future. I want them to know where home is.

    Also, how long until I introduce the rooster (SLW, 9 weeks same hatch as hens)). I was hoping the 12 hens would develop a pecking order and the rooster would fall somewhere in the middle, being the new kid in the flock.

    Or am I making huge mistakes? (wouldn't be my first, won't be my last).
     
  2. JillS

    JillS In the Brooder

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    I have B austrolorp,barr rocktotal of 5. a flock. 21wk I aquired a few buff orphs. They were about a week old when they arrived. Their current age is 10+ weeks. When the b.o. arrived they were not added to the flock. They were in the coup but in their own space. I began letting the little ones excape their area to the big girls area and slip back in for security.At first the big girls were aggressive to the babies.Over the course of 2 weeks the big girls have taken a more kindly if not motherly attitude toward the b.o. babies whom are nearly the same size as the big girls. The b.o still hide in a corner but only because of their generally less aggressive nature.
    I think that chickens just gotta be chickens. They will blend eventually in they're own time. I do sure understand your concern. This whole mix and move thing makes me wonder if my ax is sharp. A little chicken psycology and they seem to have worked it out.[​IMG]
     
  3. JillS

    JillS In the Brooder

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    Jan 30, 2012
    Edit they're own time to their own time. sorry, i have a bad connection for edit.
     
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

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    At five and nine weeks, I'd just toss everyone in together and let them work it out. Keep your extra feed and water so no one can be kept from it too much. At this age, there will be a lot of posturing and noise but little to no actual damage. Kinda like middle school lol. I'd throw that roo in there, too. At this age he's not really acting roo-ish so will just fit right in.
     
  5. Update:
    Ok, so I threw the roo in, waited two days and removed the divider. An uneasy truce remains. The SLW decide what area they want and chase the EE into another corner, then later repeat. Obviously the SLW will always rule the roost as they will always be the biggest. The roo appears rather docile and not top of pecking order, actually seems to be one of the smaller SLW. No injures or great feather piss, so all appears ok.

    Bright side: the birds always ran from me, as they weren't overly socialized. The EE now see me as protector and run to me and huddle around me, even putting up with being held sometimes. The treats help, often grass seed heads, or grass. They sometimes eat out of my hand. Now in the habit of pecking me. The SLW are slowly warming, not hiding in the corner from me, but cautiously approaching to see what I might have.

    In a week or so I should have their run finished and then I'll let them out in the grass. By that time they should see the coop as home.
     
  6. JillS

    JillS In the Brooder

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    Jan 30, 2012
    Congrats to your undivided house! My chicken girls are blending better too. All four are out of their safe place and the older girls have almost accepted them as part of the flock.At feeding time the older girls are first and don't let the littles in. The littles just head back to their safe zone where they eat their feed in peace.
     

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