Combining flocks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by fifenashia, Jun 30, 2011.

  1. fifenashia

    fifenashia Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 15, 2011
    Eastern Kentucky
    We have a 1-year old RIR and a year old Mallard Duck who lost 2 flockmates a few months back. We went out and bought 2 new comets and a khaki campbell duckling. The babies are now approximately 6 weeks old from the day we brought them home from Southern States (who knows how old they were when I picked them up but I'm guessing not more than a week or so). We started a few weeks back by taking the babies in my dog's crate down into the run and letting them with the big girls where they could interact but be safe. Then I started letting them out and last week my hen actually stomped on one of the babies and I intervened. No blood but I think we were both shaken up, since then I have let the babies in the run when I get home from work and the big girls free range the rest of the yard. Tonight I put the babies in the coop just out of morbid curiosity and when the big girls came back my hen zipped right up into the coop. So I put the babies on the roost bar on the other side from the hen and waited. She puffed a few feathers but seemed to settle down quickly. So I closed the door and waited.... all I heard were the small peeps of the babies talking to each other.... I read before that many BYC posters use this technique to integrate the flocks.

    Then I read the article on integration and I'm a little spooked about the story of one poster who tried to integrate too soon on 3 occasions and resulted in "carnage". Should I go get them and bring them back up into house or let them be and see how it goes? What about tomorrow? Should I leave them be? Hubs has class from 10-12 and wont be home to supervise during then...

    It may just be paranoid mom syndrome but I really need some reassurance and things to watch out for.
     
  2. fifenashia

    fifenashia Chillin' With My Peeps

    371
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    113
    May 15, 2011
    Eastern Kentucky
    Hellooooo *echo* hello hello hello

    Is this thing on? Anyone? [​IMG]
     
  3. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    16,228
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    Nov 18, 2007
    Florida
    My Coop
    There is quite an age difference so the older birds probably will pick on the younger ones. I made two of my coops into duplexes so I could put my younger birds on one side and the others on the other side of the coop. I have combined birds together of different ages. I make a safe place for the smaller birds that the larger birds can't get into so if the little birds get picked on they have a safe place to go. Mine figured out their safe place. I did put them in the safe place for a couple of days to let them get used to it and when I let them out and the older birds would chase them they would go to their safe place. Now everyone is together and no more safe place. That is just the way I do it, because the older birds did pick on the younger birds.
     
  4. fifenashia

    fifenashia Chillin' With My Peeps

    371
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    113
    May 15, 2011
    Eastern Kentucky
    Thanks cmom! I have been searching the web and it appears that LOTS of people use the nighttime integration method with great success! Since the girls have been introduced already and they have had contact with each other this seems like the best way. I'm still worried, but a little less so now...
     
  5. justtoni44

    justtoni44 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 13, 2010
    oregon
    HI,
    I have used the night time method.but for full grown hens. I think there is to much age difference
    .Mine are three months now and I am letting themout to free range with the flock during the day,they have thier own coop at night.
    Also, I have tons of room so they can get away if they need to.
    My understanding is that iti is better to introduce outside.hens get territorial over the coop.
    I also want the younger ones to know they have a safe place if they need it.
    You'll lprobably get tons of different ideas............[​IMG]
     

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