Another integrating question

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Chickengene, Feb 22, 2019.

  1. Chickengene

    Chickengene Chirping

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    I have a varied flock (small) five adult hens. Of my three oldest ladies, of unknown breedb reed,ever gets along fine.
    Last year I introduced The Evil Twins, Maleficent and Cruella. A pair of Silver Laced Wyandottes that will run fifty yards across the yard to bully one of the older ladies, Miss Penny a smaller Easter Egger.
    So since Miss Penny is relegated to being alone 95% of the time including sleeping by herself in a nesting box I was thinking of trying a new approach to integrating my five new chicks.
    I have a rabbit hutch with a wire mesh divider. I thought I would sit it on the ground and build a divided run attached to it.
    Place Miss Penny in one side and the five chicks in the other.
    Hopefully one or all of the babies will bond with Miss Penny and she won't be free ranging all alone and will be able to have friendly company on the roost.
    Thoughts?
    Good or bad or waste of time and energy?
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician

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    Sounds like a plan. Good luck.
     
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  3. Chickengene

    Chickengene Chirping

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    Really?
    You think it could possibly work?
    I am finding out the older I get the softer I get. It kinda bothers me to see Penny all by herself all the time.lol
    And I don't really want to watch
    young'ns ostracized.
     
  4. SueT

    SueT Free Ranging

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    It might work! I have an outcast hen that none of the others like. She's not bullied, but she's excluded. When I raised new chicks last spring, I tried putting her in with them at 4 weeks, after a see-no-touch period. She attacked them at first. She's a bantam, they are standard size, and at four weeks they were all the same size. Now, a year later, she hangs out with them, one of which is a rooster. He even protected her from a hawk recently. They are outcasts together, a little sub-flock.
     
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  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Might work.
    How big is hutch?
    Dimensions and pics would help.
    How old are chicks?
    Decent sized run should help.
     
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  6. HenHouse4Life

    HenHouse4Life GrandmaOnDuty

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    It very well could work. When you do integrate I might suggest hanging cabbage/ lettuce, flock block, even parrot toys.... anything to provide lack of boredom and keep bullies attention on something more 'productive'. Maybe give extra feed and water dishes. I would expect some pecking order but watch for injuries.
    Good luck!!
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Definitely multiple feed/water stations.

    Important part of ....
    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.

    This used to be a better search, new format has reduced it's efficacy, but still:
    Read up on integration..... BYC advanced search>titles only>integration
    This is good place to start reading, BUT some info is outdated IMO:
    http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/adding-to-your-flock
     
  8. Chickengene

    Chickengene Chirping

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    Hutch is 24''h x48"w x32"d with welded wire mesh divider. It has attached
    2-24" x 24" x 16' runs.
     
  9. Chickengene

    Chickengene Chirping

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    Depends on the weather how old chicks will be. At this point I expect they will be two to four weeks old.
     
  10. Chickengene

    Chickengene Chirping

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    You are talking about the rabbit hutch I am wanting to put the one hen into with the chicks, right?
     

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