Adding a 4 week chick to a flock of six 6 week chicks

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by nihil, Aug 20, 2013.

  1. nihil

    nihil Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 3, 2013
    Hello all,

    We started our flock on 7/10 with day old chicks (2 barred rock, 2 RIR, 2 wellsummers) but my wife really wanted to have easter eggers as well (alas, the feed store did not have any in stock). She mentioned it again tonight so I am debating getting a 4 week old easter egger from a hatchery and trying to integrate it into the flock.

    I've read over many of the integration threads on the forums with trepidation but am wondering if the relatively young age of my current chickens would make the integration easier?

    I could possibly do 2 easter eggers but it would start to make the coop a little crowded.

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. goldfinches

    goldfinches Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 6, 2011
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    I would suggest the two. Adding a lone bird could invite a lot of bullying. But, two should be fine. People integrate older chickens all the time, younger ones have always been easier for me.
     
  3. nihil

    nihil Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 3, 2013
    The Easter Eggers came today and are in the brooder on our sun porch. They look about 4 weeks old which is about 3 weeks younger than the existing flock.

    The plan is to re-home the rooster Saturday and start introducing the new girls to the 5 remaining girls next week.

    Hoping to get a cage to put them in inside the existing run so the flock gets accustomed to them and then either do the night time "slip in" or put them in the run supervised so they don't get bullied too much.

    I'm hoping that removing the rooster will reshuffle the pecking order already so the existing girls have enough to pay attention to without being too mean to the new girls.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. nihil

    nihil Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 3, 2013
    Since the main flock is only 2 months old and won't be using the nesting box for a while, I put up a piece of hardware cloth between it and the coop in order to give the flock a chance to see the 2 new girls.
    [​IMG]

    After a few days (probably a little early) I cut a small hole in the hardware cloth so the new girls could explore the coop/run but still have a safe place to escape to with food/water if they wanted.

    Each of the existing flock got some pecks in but only 1 or 2 pecks and then they'd leave the new girls alone. The new girls explored the coop and (surprisingly) went out into the run and got a few more pecks. I propped up some boards in the coop and the run to give them a spot to hide if necessary, too.

    So far it seems to be working out okay, though the new girls still go back to the "nesting box/brooder" in the evening. They are much smaller than the existing flock (about half the size) so it'll probably be a few weeks until they are on equal footing to the rest of the flock.
     

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