Adding to a flock

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ryansmom, Nov 9, 2014.

  1. ryansmom

    ryansmom Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 14, 2014
    Hi All:

    My son hatched 7 eggs over labor day weekend, our first experience with chickens. We ended up building a coop 8x8 large and a huge 16x8 outdoor run on grass. We are not quite sure who is pullet and who is cockerel since they are only 2 months old, but they are rather large and seem to be a mix of a several birds the farmer had on his farm......
    At any rate we purchased 8 pullets from the National Show in Columbus yesterday for my son to show for 4-H he joined....they are a bit older but I found out they are Bantams of Silver Laved Wyandottes, Silver Pencil Laced Plymouth Rocks and Columbian Plymouth Rocks.....they are this years hatch not quite sure their exact age.
    Last night I separated them inside the coop inside a doggie ex-pen with separate food and water, when my son went in this morning several had perched on the pen and some had gotten up on the roost area.....seemed to be no problems, it seemed so my son took down the ex-pen and let them all out in the big run together to mingle and he monitored the group to make sure no one got into it.....well about a couple hours into the socialization the bigger ones started chasing and pecking the littler er ones.........I am concerned because I know a bit of pecking needs to happen to establish social order but I am concerned about how much to too much. I have again separated them where they can see each other but not interact or peck? Is that a bad thing?
    Did I rush too much?
     
  2. JanetMarie

    JanetMarie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 23, 2014
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    You did the right thing to separate them so they can see each other, but not have contact. When you do put them together again just make sure to watch them closely. You may have to wait until they are all almost full grown before you can combine them. Too much pecking is when someone is afraid to eat, drink, or scratch around in the run and hiding from fear of getting picked on.
     
  3. Thejperez

    Thejperez Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 7, 2014
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    Separate the pen that's the easiest thing to do. let them see each other. Wait until the younger ones can protect themselves. Then remove the wire wall and let them interact. if the younger ones are still to small to protect themselves then put the wall back up. But small pecks and chest bumping are just the Pecking order
     
  4. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    I agree, you were right to separate them. Just give them some more time being separated by a fence. Your Labor Day chicks are rather young to be put in with older birds, it's usually best not to do so until they are 10 to 12 weeks old. By that time they are larger and better able to defend themselves and establish themselves in the pecking order.
     
  5. ryansmom

    ryansmom Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 14, 2014
    Thanks for all the info but the larger birds are the labor day hatchings....the new birds are older in age but bantams.....which I didn't know when I bought them.....the coop is divided now but I'm stressing about if I can ever put them together.
     
  6. ryansmom

    ryansmom Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 14, 2014
    Well just went out to check everybody and a bigger one jumped the coop divider and was in with the others they all seemed well and everybody was up and moving around and no one seemed stressed so we decided to let it go and check again in an hour or so.
     
  7. JanetMarie

    JanetMarie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 23, 2014
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    It's good that you're keeping a close eye on them. They may all get along well someday since they can see each other, and one wants to be with the others.
     
  8. ryansmom

    ryansmom Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 14, 2014
    We had to part ways with three roosters as they were just too mean but we knew keeping them all together was going to have to come to an end. The tame rooster two original girls and the 8 new girls are getting along fine.
     

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