Can this bantam/biggie intro work?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by CB Poulet, Nov 30, 2012.

  1. CB Poulet

    CB Poulet New Egg

    Nov 27, 2012
    Berkeley, CA
    I plan on starting a new small backyard flock tomorrow with three just-started laying pullets, all full-size Easter Eggers, from a local breeder. Two days later, I'd like to introduce two bantam Ameraucanas, about 5 - 6 months old, from a different backyard hobbyist. Could this work? Can the full size + bantams become a happy 5-hen flock?
    I know about introducing at night, or offering distractions, but I've never had bantams, and am not sure.... Also thinking that since they are all newly establishing orders (the three have housed together as part of much larger flock), maybe doing the mix within the first few days can work..?
    Advice welcome!!
  2. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    I have bantams that live with standard size hens but they were raised together from day one. I would be cautious about trying to integrate them as adults. Not that it can't be done, just go slow. I also would not do it by popping them into the coop at night. That has never, ever worked for me and can result in badly pecked new birds in the morning. When it gets light chickens know there is a stranger in their midst.

    What has worked for me is fencing off part of the run for new birds and letting them sleep in the coop in a wire dog crate at night. Let them have plenty of time to see and get used to each other. I do this for a week or two until everybody has gotten pretty used to seeing each other around. Then I start letting them all out to free range together in my barn and pasture. Plenty of room to get away from each other as needed as they work out their pecking order. This has worked very well for me and has been well worth the time and effort to avoid a pecking problem.
  3. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 19, 2012
    Los Angeles
    I use a similar method to the one described as above. It's generally known as the "play pen" method. I also have a 5 hen flock with 3 large fowl and 2 bantums. They get along fine and were not raised together.

    When I introduce a new bird I put the new one in the large wire dog crate in the yard. This way the chickens are "together" but not together and can get a little used to each other. I do this for three days and them out and them let them be. They will probably still be mean but this is normal chicken behavior and you have to let them work it out. I would watch and make sure that there is no blood. If you see food guarding, add a temporary second feeder.

    Good luck!
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2012

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