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Advise for intergrating 2 flocks...

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Chick_In_The_Burbs, May 14, 2011.

  1. Chick_In_The_Burbs

    Chick_In_The_Burbs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 26, 2010
    Western Washington
    I have three EE ladies, about a year old that I'm going to be integrating soon with the 3 pullets I've been keeping inside (12 week olds; Australorp, Sussex and Hamburg). We're building a new coop for them all but it's not quite done yet (hence why the youngsters are still inside). The basic plan is to put the new pullets into the new coop, let everyone stare at eachother for a few weeks and then move the big girls into the new coop at night.

    So far we've been trying to get them aquanted by putting the little ones in a little pen near the current coop and letting the big girls out to roam around when we do. They usually get to 'interact' like this for about 3 or 4 hours a day, minimum, and we've been doing this for about two weeks now. One of the older hens, Scrambles, keeps trying to attack them through the fencing. I get that this is normal but how long will it take to get her to settle down about them? I have this horrible feeling that if I put them together in the next month that there will be feathers everywhere and one or two of the little ones will get seriously hurt. She REALLY seems to have an issue with the new girls. [​IMG]

    Any advise is welcome.
     
  2. Chick_In_The_Burbs

    Chick_In_The_Burbs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 26, 2010
    Western Washington
    Anyone?
     
  3. MyBlackHen

    MyBlackHen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 26, 2010
    Upstate New York
    Bumping your post - I am curious as to what the others will advise. I have 9 one-year old hens and 9 six-week old pullets, so I will be doing the same integration at some point too. I've been keeping them separate but today, just for about 10 minutes, I let them all mingle together. It was hysterical because the little ones rushed into the yard and the big ones rushed into the enclosed area where the little ones were - apparently they had all been dying to check out the other "digs"! At first they were all basically ignoring each other but then I noticed a couple of my older hens taking a little too much interest in the little ones, reaffirming my belief that I need to wait at least another month or two before I can really let them integrate ... but I will be interested to hear what the more experienced folks have to say!
     
  4. NYRIR

    NYRIR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 13, 2010
    Petersburg,NY
    First of all ,congrats on the new babies [​IMG]
    Second, I personally have integrated my flock twice in a year with younger chicks.I have a "playpen" for nice days that is situated in the yard close to the house and it allows the bigger girls to see them. I typically use this for about a week before I do step 2. I have a wire cage inside my coop that I put the babes in for about a week ( and don't let them out,no matter how much I want to ). on the 7th-8th day in the am I take the chicks out of the cage after the big girls and guys have gone through the pop door.I allow the chicks to find their way out.Doing it this way, I never have to catch them to put them back in at night.Sometimes the bigger hens will not let them back into the coop right away,but eventually the little ones get in after the bigger ones roost.Currently I have 14 eleven week olds in the coop with the big chickens, and no one has gotten hurt.Outside during the day, I still have two flocks ( one of little guys and one of the big guys) but they slowly integrate and when the chicks get bigger,they mix fine.
    As for your hen that seems more aggressive...I have seen some of mine that are a bit more "mean" to the chicks if they come too close,but none go out of their way to peck them.Hopefully someone else will chime in with more experience than myself. Hope it works out well for you [​IMG]
    Oh, also....when I first let the chicks out during the day with the big girls....I am present to keep watch....if anyone starts to "pick" on anyone else, I shoo the offender away. My flock now knows that I am "top roo" and these are MY chicks ;)This is what has worked well for me.The worst part is taking them in and out of the brooder in the house and going to the playpen.Thank goodness I have kids to do some chicken transporting!
     

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