Chick/Chicken Integration

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by carldaugh, Jun 6, 2016.

  1. carldaugh

    carldaugh Just Hatched

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    We have 16, 3 month old Chicks (4 Leghorns, 3 RIR's, 7 Golden Comets, & 2 Bantam Mix) and we have 4 adults (1 Deleware Wyandotte (pic attached), 2 Moran hens, & 1 Silkie).
    1) I've read numerous threads on when and how to integrate these (16) chicks into the coop/flock. Right now they separated in a 5 foot by 5 foot "brooder box". We let them roam (out of box, with adults) supervised twice a day(morning & Afternoon) for 1-2 hours each time. My reasoning behind this is to get them all "used" to each other. There are times that the adult still display their dominance by pecking, and also the chicks "challenge" with an aggressive "run-up" and occasional chest bump. I'm assuming there is nothing to be done about this due to the "setting of the packing order" inherant in flocks.
    2) My real question is when is it "safe" to allow these chicks roam free in the coop with the adults, and feel comfortable that all will be OK? The coop has three sections, A. 16Ft x 20Ft outside run (pictured), attached to two covered roosting/nesting areas about 8Ft x 8Ft each.
    3. Finally can any one identify what my rooster is, I think he may be a Deleware Wyndotte, but not sure... he was a gift. He's awesome and truly "looks after the hens, and is very good when the chicks are out and about.

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  2. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    In my experience older Birds don't take too well to younger birds that are still peeping.
    Once they start clucking it goes a lot smoother.
    I can only say what worked with mine.
     
  3. BruceAZ

    BruceAZ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Valley of the Sun :)
    it's best to wait until the chicks are about the same size

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  4. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    Mine are just over 2 months old and totally integrated with the hens. Here's how it worked for me (copied from another thread I responded to):

    I integrated my 30 chicks with my 6 adult hens when they were about 6 weeks old. They had all shared the same coop (separated by chicken wire) since I got the chicks as day-olds. They were in a brooder box for about 2 weeks, then given the run of their section of the coop where the hens could see them. At about 5-6 weeks, I let a couple of the hens in with them for a bit. I did that for a few days, then opened up the whole coop for them to mingle and go out in the run. We let the hens out to free range late morning, early afternoon until I just let everyone out to free range together. They were totally integrated before 8 weeks of age.

    How long have your chicks been having supervised visitation with the older ones? If it's been more than a few days, maybe you could extend their time together to see how it goes, or just let them be together, checking on them now and then. Make sure you have hiding places for the young ones to get out of sight from the hens, and multiple feeders and waterers.

    Can't help you with your rooster, but he sure is pretty!
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I'd say that cock/erel could have some Leghorn in him......big comb, slim body.
    Both Delawares and Wyandottes have big bodies....and Wys have flat combs.
     
  6. carldaugh

    carldaugh Just Hatched

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    May 14, 2016
    Holopaw, Florida
    We've been doing the integration for about a weeks now, 2 times a day for about an hour each time. I think we are going to move up to about 2 hours each next week. The adult hens still seem to wanna show their dominance, especially around the food.
     
  7. carldaugh

    carldaugh Just Hatched

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    May 14, 2016
    Holopaw, Florida
    That makes sense that he has some Leghorn in him, he has "flighty" tendencies. A very tolerant bird, he just doesn't care to be handled or especially cornered. However He, (the rooster) believe it or not, is the best acting of our four adults when around the 16 chicks... He just gives the occasional low slow "growl" sounding squawk when the chicks get "rowdy. This is amazing to watch, cause the chicks (all 16 of them) just stop, then slowly go back to scratching or dust-bathing..
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I'd put some obstacles/hiding places up in the run(as bobbi-j suggested) and get it over with.
    Multiple feed and water stations are a must.
    5x5 pen for 16 three month olds, is pretty darn crowded.

    Mature roosters aren't really concerned with immature birds, especially pullets.
     

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