Advice needed on integration plan options

NHMountainMan

Free Ranging
Feb 25, 2019
935
3,690
502
New Hampshire
My Coop
I've got a flock of 13 pullets; all 22 weeks old. Three are laying, and the rest of the dual purpose birds are headed to the freezer on Wednesday. I also have a separate group of 5 (EE, SLW, GLW, Whiting true blue and whiting true green) that at least 3 are intended to be layers. They are 11 weeks old. They've been kept separate but within sight of the older flock. I want to bring them together, as I want 8 birds to be in the same coop through the winter. My integration plans:

Plan 1: (my plan unless you all advise against) After harvesting the 10 birds, wait until that night and put the other 5 pullets into the coop while the remaining 3 are roosting. My thought is that the hierarchy of the flock will be thrown off by the culling, and there may be more acceptance of the new pullets.

Plan 2: Allow the remaining 3 pullets to spend the night in their coop, and when I let them out to range (within an acre thats netted off) - and let the 5 new, younger pullets range together, and allow the birds to go wherever they want (either coop) for a few days, before removing the grow out coop the after a few days.

Plan 3: The same as plan 2, but remove the grow out coop immediately, forcing the 5 younger pullets to find a place to roost and hopefully they'll follow the older birds to the big coop.

Plan 4: After culling the 10 older birds, leave the remains 3 older pullets in the enclosed run to roost overnight for a few days, and enclose the 5 younger pullets to spend several days alone in the big coop. After a few days, open the pop door to let them mingle.

I know there's never agreement for all - but would love your thoughts and experience to guide me.
Thanks
 

slordaz

hatchaholic
5 Years
Apr 15, 2015
3,456
6,384
602
Idaho
I personally favor letting them out with the others all at once, making sure they have places and space to get away, and extra feed and water station and I can watch them for a bit, but they could get back to where they are used to sleeping. 2 days of this with out issue they went and found a spot to roost in the coop with the adults, after 2 days of that I closed off access to the grow out pen. A Lot will depend on your flock and set up though which method works the best for you and your flock
 

NHMountainMan

Free Ranging
Feb 25, 2019
935
3,690
502
New Hampshire
My Coop
I personally favor letting them out with the others all at once, making sure they have places and space to get away, and extra feed and water station and I can watch them for a bit, but they could get back to where they are used to sleeping. 2 days of this with out issue they went and found a spot to roost in the coop with the adults, after 2 days of that I closed off access to the grow out pen. A Lot will depend on your flock and set up though which method works the best for you and your flock
Thank you.
 

ScottyGill

Songster
Jun 22, 2019
483
1,051
197
Dunoon, Argyll & Bute, Scotland
I'm glad to
I personally favor letting them out with the others all at once, making sure they have places and space to get away, and extra feed and water station and I can watch them for a bit, but they could get back to where they are used to sleeping. 2 days of this with out issue they went and found a spot to roost in the coop with the adults, after 2 days of that I closed off access to the grow out pen. A Lot will depend on your flock and set up though which method works the best for you and your flock
I'm glad to Read this, I am putting my 4 week chicks in a cage next to the 8 weeks who have been outside for 3 weeks now for periods during the day, which we will increase as we have good weather coming back, it's Been very wet and windy. They will then be put in a run right beside the original the run with a little coop my husband is making for the next few weeks until they get a bit bigger, it will have a gate which we can eventually leave open. Then it will all be one coop. But so far in just two days they bigger 3 come look, the little ones look back, then the big 3 go off and carry on, the little 3 seems so relaxed. Until we pick them up to bring them back to the brooder. Sorry to high jack this conversation but I asked for advice before and no one answered. Does this plan sound good?
 

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slordaz

hatchaholic
5 Years
Apr 15, 2015
3,456
6,384
602
Idaho
My older hens are 2.5 rooster is about 5 years old my pullets are 6 and 8 weeks old just for your information.

@ScottyGill looks like it but you need more things for the younger ones to get behind or under in there, if theres a door that opens between the 2 pens I would just open it partially and have it blocked so the little ones can get back into the other side but not the bigger ones
 

FortCluck

Hatch-a-Long Queen
Premium Feather Member
Sep 9, 2019
20,915
90,743
1,237
Central Virginia
When I get pullets even week old chicks, I put them in the free range run (4000+ SQ FT) with the older ones. They always accept the new ones. Sometimes there's a squabble or two, But I provide several hiding places. I usually make little tiny teepees and brush piles with sticks from the woods. The chicks love hiding in them. Mine accept younger chicks better than older ones (older would be anything past 12 weeks for them).

There are usually several watering stations and food stations so that nobody really has to fight over food and when I give scraps I throw them around the whole area in different piles.

One of my ducklings actually got loose into the chicken area last night and the chickens did nothing, they thought she was a newcomer.
 

FortCluck

Hatch-a-Long Queen
Premium Feather Member
Sep 9, 2019
20,915
90,743
1,237
Central Virginia
So it sounds like shared ranging area to start then see how it goes. The area has plenty of hiding areas.

Do you think sneaking them in to the coop overnight, the same night I cull most of the flock is a bad idea?
No people do that all the time and when they all wake up in the morning they think they were already there to begin with. This is what I've heard from others who have tried it.
 

ScottyGill

Songster
Jun 22, 2019
483
1,051
197
Dunoon, Argyll & Bute, Scotland
My older hens are 2.5 rooster is about 5 years old my pullets are 6 and 8 weeks old just for your information.

@ScottyGill looks like it but you need more things for the younger ones to get behind or under in there, if theres a door that opens between the 2 pens I would just open it partially and have it blocked so the little ones can get back into the other side but not the bigger ones
Thank you. For the first while they'll be in their own part of the coop and we're putting in things for them to hide and get away even just from sight, when I let them all out together I have read about how to put things around but like these ideas if little areas for them, it will be fun to plan. Thanks for your help. This cage we used today was temporary, it's the top of their indoor brooder box, just to let them have outside time but starting the looking at each other process, their 'nursery' area is much bigger and will have a coop and other things in it for interest. It'll be ready in a couple of days.
 

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