Adding feisty fall baby to my flock.

seashoreduck

Songster
6 Years
May 6, 2013
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Currently doing a parallel run for the chickens.

Old flock Two chickens-- both 1.5yo (RIR and Barred Rock) Penny and Ashes

Newcomers both ~12 weeks Buff orphington and Golden laced wynott. Herby Scrappy do and Hop Hop.

Penny and Ash do not seem to have much of a pecking order and are pretty much best buddies. If I had to guess, I'd say that Penny is the higher chicken and tends to be much more dramatic and full of personality. First to peck me if I'm late for food, first to meet new people, first to make it sound like she's being murdered, etc. While Ashes takes a while to warm up, she's been far more affectionate and even tries to "cuddle"

I have been slowly introducing the baby chicks. But Scrappy Do seems to love going in for a fight, particularly with Ash. At 12 weeks they are still quite a bit smaller, I intervene and everyone goes back to their respective corners. I keep trying every week or so but as it gets cooler and cooler I'm a bit in a rush to get them all together. Am I just going to have to wait until they are the same size and let the bloodbath happen?
 

seashoreduck

Songster
6 Years
May 6, 2013
286
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Have you had them somewhere that they could see each other, but not touch. I have read (new chicken momma here, know nothing from experience) that letting them see each other before the introduction is the way to go.

Yes, as I said in my first line, they've been in parallel for 2 weeks now. They can see each other and I've even hung a treat that they all can reach. The babies were in a small coop near the house at about 6 weeks and Penny and Ash were able to be around them since then when they free-ranged during the day. They are far from strangers.
 

Jessi.Smith

Songster
Sep 30, 2018
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Texas
Sorry, I scrolled to see the whole post at once and apparently cut off the first line.

Well that was the only suggestion I have - but at least it keep your post on the little active screen, so maybe I helped that way. :hmm
 

seashoreduck

Songster
6 Years
May 6, 2013
286
32
126
Sorry, I scrolled to see the whole post at once and apparently cut off the first line.

Well that was the only suggestion I have - but at least it keep your post on the little active screen, so maybe I helped that way. :hmm
No worries. I appreciate that. It is a good idea and should always be the first thing to do. I started here with ducks and I understand them so much better.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
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8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
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Yes, as I said in my first line, they've been in parallel for 2 weeks now. They can see each other and I've even hung a treat that they all can reach. The babies were in a small coop near the house at about 6 weeks and Penny and Ash were able to be around them since then when they free-ranged during the day. They are far from strangers.
2 weeks should be long enough for side by side, especially with previous exposure when chicks were up by house.
I'd let them mingle and work it out. You intervening only puts off the inevitable, they need to work out the pecking order and you have no part in that.

Hopefully your coop and runs are large enough for the youngers to get away when necessary. Youngers will stay a 'subflock' until they start laying, then will they come together more, and there may be ore pecking order issues at that time.

Here's some tips on...
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.
 

Callender Girl

Free Ranging
Sep 18, 2018
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North Central Iowa
I am also trying to integrate fall babies into a tiny flock of three. The new girls, Sapphire Gems, are spending their afternoons in a wire crate inside the other girls' run.

I am generally uncomfortable watching a pecking order getting established (Hey, it's even worse when goats with horns are getting integrated into a herd), but this one is at least a little humorous.

The troublemaker in the old flock is Sally -- a bantam cochin with a permanent limp. She yells at the much bigger Vanna and Petra incessantly and pecks at them through the wire. I hope they forgive her when the day comes that they all have to live together.
 

seashoreduck

Songster
6 Years
May 6, 2013
286
32
126
They have PLENTY of space. They are in no danger of having too little space. They have a 2.5x8 elevated coop with a loft and a 12x12 run.

The babies are in a 4x3 coop with no real run. I'm going to make a faux door that only the smaller ones can get through.

The feeder is automatic and kinda throws the feed, but I can make more water stations easily.

Looks like I have to go for it.
 

MANNA-PRO

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