Doorsopenat5

In the Brooder
Aug 24, 2020
7
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11
This is probably going to sound really silly, but I have 4 bantams that are 2 months old, and seem to all get along really well. we decided to add 2 well-laying standards, thinking we might as well get some good and plentiful eggs out all this. They are only a week old so will be in the brooder for awhile, but I’m feeling guilty that I’m going to disrupt the good thing the originals have going. I don’t want to mess up their whole dynamic or stress any of them out. Trying to justify it by telling myself that chickens like to be with groups and they are young enough to make an easy adjustment? Am I lying to myself or is this true? Has everyone eventually settled newbies in well? thank you in advance for comments. This probably seems like a silly topic but hoping to ease my mind.
 

rosemarythyme

Crossing the Road
Jul 3, 2016
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They'll all eventually settle in as a flock but that won't happen until both groups are old enough to lay (and even then they'll still favor their own age group).
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
Nov 27, 2012
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Trying to justify it by telling myself that chickens like to be with groups and they are young enough to make an easy adjustment? Am I lying to myself or is this true? Has everyone eventually settled newbies in well?
Young age is not going to help much with the 8wk olds....not like it would with an older flock.
https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/integrating-new-birds-at-4-weeks-old.72603/

It's true but it could take months.

How big your coop and run is can definitely helps.
Dimensions and pics of your setup would help garner some specific suggestions.


Here some tips about.....
Integration Basics:
It's all about territory and resources(space/food/water).
Existing birds will almost always attack new ones to defend their resources.
Understanding chicken behaviors is essential to integrating new birds into your flock.

Confine new birds within sight but physically segregated from older/existing birds for several weeks, so they can see and get used to each other but not physically interact.

In adjacent runs, spread scratch grains along the dividing mesh, best if mesh is just big enough for birds to stick their head thru, so they get used to eating together.

The more space, the better.
Birds will peck to establish dominance, the pecked bird needs space to get away. As long as there's no copious blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down and beaten unmercilessly, let them work it out. Every time you interfere or remove new birds, they'll have to start the pecking order thing all over again.

Multiple feed/water stations. Dominance issues are most often carried out over sustenance, more stations lessens the frequency of that issue.

Places for the new birds to hide 'out of line of sight'(but not a dead end trap) and/or up and away from any bully birds. Roosts, pallets or boards leaned up against walls or up on concrete blocks, old chairs tables, branches, logs, stumps out in the run can really help. Lots of diversion and places to 'hide' instead of bare wide open run.
Good ideas for hiding places:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/a-cluttered-run.1323792/
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
Feb 2, 2009
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Southeast Louisiana
Size doesn't mean anything in this scenario, maturity does. Don't expect to get any benefit to the younger being a full sized breed in with older bantams. That's a common misconception on here.

You never know what will happen with living animals. Each chicken is an individual with its own personality and each flock has its own dynamics. Sometimes these things go so smoothly you wonder what all the worry was about, sometimes they are a disaster. I firmly believe how much room you have makes a lot of difference. More room doesn't give you any guarantees but it sure improves your odds.

With mine different age groups hang together and stay separated from the others until they mature enough to force their way into the pecking order. With my pullets that's usually about the time they start laying. Until them if less mature birds invade their private space they are likely to get pecked. The younger ones typically learn really quickly to avoid the older ones, day and night. Of course there are exceptions to this. Each group is different. Sometimes even pretty young chicks can merge closely with mature hens without issues. But that is not the general rule.

I have the weather that they can be outside all day every day when they are immature and enough room out there that they can stay far apart. I have three different coops and shelters so they can be separated at night. My chicks also grow up with the flock. My brooder is in the coop and I let my broody hens raise their chicks with the flock from Day 1. I think that helps a lot too.

I don't know how much room you have in your coop or outside or what weather you may be facing. I suggest as much as you reasonably can you follow Aart's generic recommendations. They can help. I'll add to let them work things out at their pace, not yours, as much as you can. If they don't want to sleep on the roosts together, don't try to force them. Give them as much room as you can during the day so they can hang separated. They will become one flock when they are ready. Sometimes that isn't all that long but usually with mine it's when they are all laying.

Good luck!
 

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