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Adding smaller chicks to flock

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by RevaT1987, Apr 13, 2017.

  1. RevaT1987

    RevaT1987 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 16, 2017
    Ft. McCoy, Florida
    Hi I have 5 Bantam chicks (7 weeks) that I would like to introduce to my older (11-12 weeks) barred rocks and 3 ducks about the same age. I have done "see but don't touch" since we got the bantams when they were days old, and yesterday I tried to open the cage wide enough that the bantams could get in and out but the older chickens could not get in the cage, so the bantams would have a safe place to run if the older chickens started pecking them...
    Well that's where everything went wrong. The bantams came out and the older chicks all ran over and started pecking and chasing them. The bantams would not run back into the cage and just ran around the yard screaming with the bigger chickens right behind them. I ended up having to run around trying to chase the bigger chickens away and scoop up the bantams before they got hurt. I am positive my neighbors were laughing because I am sure I looked like a crazy woman. LOL

    Its not really possible to keep the flocks separate, I free range them in the fenced back yard during the day and they sleep in large dog crates in my laundry room at night. (I am terrified something will kill them) I do have a small coop, but whoever built it didn't do a good job and it doesn't have any air flow and very dusty and about to fall apart. (We are building another one, but can't build two)

    The bantams are about 1/4 the size of my older chicks, I am worried they are going to kill them. They all have been able to see each other since they were babies and I thought the transition would go really smooth, but after yesterday I am worried they will never be able to stay together.

    Any ideas on how to make this as easy as possible? Is there another way I can introduce them?
     
  2. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 15, 2011
    SE Pa.
    Put more places out in the yard where the bantams can hide. Pieces of plywood or pallets propped up so the older ones can't get under, things like that. Then leave the younger ones time out in the yard by themselves to learn the lay of the land maybe a day or so. After that leave the older ones out one at a time. Wait till that one settles down and leaves the younger ones alone till you leave the next one out. By leaving them out one at a time they have too many little ones to chase allowing the littles ones to shelter and it should work out more smoothly. I would also have at least two water and feed stations so there is less chance of bullying. There will be some chasing and pecking, that is how they establish their pecking order after all.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. RevaT1987

    RevaT1987 Out Of The Brooder

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    3
    36
    Mar 16, 2017
    Ft. McCoy, Florida
    Thanks! I knew there would be some pecking and fighting but they were relentless yesterday. I will put some more hiding spots and try one at a time. It scares me because the bantams are so much smaller than my big girls.
     

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