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Are my birds ready for my flock?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by biteme2134, Jan 6, 2015.

  1. biteme2134

    biteme2134 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    We've got 8 americana's (and a rooster grr) that we got from Ideal Poultry on 10/16. That makes them almost 12 weeks old. We have a flock of 14 birds including 2 roosters. I'm wondering if mine are old/big enough to be tossed in with the bigger birds?
    I plan on dropping them on the roost at night and I'll be around all weekend (drop them in friday night) to monitor. I've never had issues incorporating before. These have been in their own pen outside in the cold and have a wire screen that the other birds have been able to see them through during the day.
    I think they're getting a little big for their pen and my coop has a heater in the water to keep from freezing (which means less work dealing with freezing water in the smaller birds pen).

    What are your thoughts?

    [​IMG]
     
  2. RulingTheRoost

    RulingTheRoost Out Of The Brooder

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    I would recommend not putting your new birds in the rest of your flock until they are the same size or only a little smaller than your other birds. That way, they won't be picked on by the bossy ones.

    We have had this happen once. One of our 13 week old babies got out of their enclosure and into the regular run, and it was pecked until it was bleeding and had a severe loss of feathers before we came home to rescue her.

    Of course, if you feel that they are ready, by all means let them in with the other birds and see how they react. Be ready to defend them if the other birds show signs of aggression.

    I hope this helped!
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. biteme2134

    biteme2134 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    About what age would they be the same size?
     
  4. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    You can do it, but you definitely need some hideouts and different levels in your run and coop. And you need to set things up so nothing can get trapped. Art sets it so that an area has a one way gate so to speak, the opening is big enough for the younger birds to get through but not big enough for the older girls. The chicks can brave it out with the big birds, but if it get to be too much can escape into a safety zone.

    The little ones will get picked on, and the flock will not bond until months from now.

    Birds are full size about 4-5 months, generally speaking.

    Mrs K
     
  5. biteme2134

    biteme2134 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    Thanks for the replies. The one way area is a good idea and one I might borrow!
     

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