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Evaluate my integration plan

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by jamiebelle1207, Sep 2, 2014.

  1. jamiebelle1207

    jamiebelle1207 Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 1, 2014
    I currently have 2 mature laying hens, a red sex-link and buff orpington, who are relatively friendly. They are in a chicken tractor at night and free-roam in my fenced-in backyard during the day. They are relatively chill and mostly just hang out under the deck all day.

    Next week, 12 baby chicks are shipping. We are also in the construction phase of a larger 4x8 coop with plenty of human standing room and a 5x10 attached pen. That should be completed before the chicks are fully feathered and ready to spend the winter outside with their two older sisters. I'm thinking by November I will want the babies outside; they should be about 10 weeks old by then.

    I was thinking of putting the newbies in the new coop first and only transitioning my two older birds in with them after the young ones have been in it for like 2 weeks and comfortable in the pen, as well. Since it's in the yard, the older hens will be able to see the younger ones through the pen's fencing even though they will continue to roost in the tractor. I hope that since my two older ladies will be outnumbered and will also be the "new" ones to the coop, that they will be less likely to be mean to the younger ones once I move them all in together.

    Does this seem like a reasonable strategy? If not, I am up for suggestions.

    I will keep the tractor on hand in case any bird ever needs to be separated from the main flock. :)
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    It does seem like a reasonable plan. You might want to add the old hens to the new birds one at a time. Good luck.
  3. jamiebelle1207

    jamiebelle1207 Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 1, 2014
    That's a great idea. Thanks!
  4. David1998

    David1998 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 30, 2014
    Houston, Texas
    Sounds like a good plan. Too bad one of your older hens didn't go broody at the perfect time. It's so much easier to have a good momma hen raise babies.
  5. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    It sounds like it should work fine. The only thing I would be concerned about is that your coop is on the small side for 14 birds, if you go by the suggested minimums of 4 square feet per bird.
  6. jamiebelle1207

    jamiebelle1207 Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 1, 2014
    They will only sleep in the coop; otherwise they roam all day. And I'm trying to prepare for the death of one or more chicks by ordering slightly more than I want, as it seems fairly common for one or two to be DOA.

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