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Flock integration at a young age

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by GulfBamaChick, Aug 8, 2014.

  1. GulfBamaChick

    GulfBamaChick Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 21, 2014
    Mobile Bay Area
    I have five 20 week old hens and a roo that are VERY AGGRESSIVE towards my six 10 week old chicks [​IMG]. The chicks are ready to start free ranging, but the flock was trying to kill them as soon as they stepped a toe out of the toddler run[​IMG]. I finally just took my big girls and put them in the toddler run, and let the chicks out to free range, and created a nook for them in the big girl run for them to sleep. So, I am trying to go ahead and integrate them into the main flock. I left my big girls in jail for two days. Last night, I removed my least aggressive hen Gladys and set her up on top of the coop (the hens are tree roosting girls) [​IMG]. This morning I am happy to report MINIMAL PECKING! She, of course, has to display her dominance, but is not trying to kill the chicks like before or obsessing over them. She stays by the toddler run because her sisters and hubby are in there. I am going to wait another 2 days and remove the next hen, Ethel. I am hoping that this works so that I can let everyone free range for food [​IMG]. I may have to re-try this next month if it doesn’t work out this time but lets hope for the best. Any tips??


    I do have a question! If I were to let the rooster out next, would he be more inclined to see the chicks as his flock if I keep the girls penned up? If I let him be alone with them for a few days then start letting one hen out at a time would that be better? Would he keep the hens in check or attack the babies? I mean if he is at the top of the pecking order there isn’t much to challenge right?
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2014
  2. Sounds like you have a good handle on the integration. Good job.

    Free Ranging them will give the younger chicks the ability to stay at a distance and not be bullied too much. You will likely have 2 flocks sorta for a while. That is until the younger ones mature and the rooster and other hens fully incorporate them.

    Wish ya the best.
     
  3. GulfBamaChick

    GulfBamaChick Out Of The Brooder

    91
    3
    48
    Mar 21, 2014
    Mobile Bay Area
    I do have a question! If I were to let the rooster out next, would he be more inclined to see the chicks as his flock if I keep the girls penned up? If I let him be alone with them for a few days then start letting one hen out at a time would that be better? Would he keep the hens in check or attack the babies? I mean if he is at the top of the pecking order there isn’t much to challenge right?
     
  4. GulfBamaChick

    GulfBamaChick Out Of The Brooder

    91
    3
    48
    Mar 21, 2014
    Mobile Bay Area
    Anyone?
     
  5. The rooster & the hens will likely pick on em for a while. How the rooster will react if let out alone with them is questionable. He may or may not ease up on them until they are full grown size. It is hard to say. Keep them all close together as much as possible with safe zones for the youngsters to get away in.
     
  6. GulfBamaChick

    GulfBamaChick Out Of The Brooder

    91
    3
    48
    Mar 21, 2014
    Mobile Bay Area
    I knew there would be pecking but before it was an attempted slaughter. I would be happy with just pecking here and there. When the big chickens were all out at once they came from the other side of the yard as soon as the chicks hit the ground and started trying to kill them. My children’s father had to help fend them off while a snatched the babies up. It was insane. What I am experiencing now with the pecking and a little chasing is much better with just the one hen out.
     
  7. GulfBamaChick

    GulfBamaChick Out Of The Brooder

    91
    3
    48
    Mar 21, 2014
    Mobile Bay Area
    Just let my 20 wk old roo out and he hasn’t given the chicks a second thought[​IMG]. He is more worried about getting back in with the hens! I have one little EE pullet (who I suspect is a roo https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/914718/sex-poll ) that thinks he/she is grown and keeps trying to roost with the hen, and was thinking about roosting in the tree! Way too small. The hen pecked her off the roost and she tried to get back up!
     
  8. GulfBamaChick

    GulfBamaChick Out Of The Brooder

    91
    3
    48
    Mar 21, 2014
    Mobile Bay Area
    The rooster seems to be really taking to the pullets [​IMG]. ZERO pecking [​IMG] Now with most of the girls locked up he has only displayed mild dominance just like he does with the big girls. Running, strutting, etc. [​IMG] Gladys has quit pecking at them unless the try to get in her grazing space. This could not be going ANY better. Tonight I am going to bring another hen out (Ethel) and put her on the roost. I am hoping that by the time all the hens are out Cecil will bust up any bullying and keep everyone in order[​IMG].
     
  9. GulfBamaChick

    GulfBamaChick Out Of The Brooder

    91
    3
    48
    Mar 21, 2014
    Mobile Bay Area
    UPDATE:::: All my chickens are doing great and even roosting together[​IMG]. The rooster will come between the hens and pullets if anyone chases or gets rowdy which only happens once in a while. YAY! DEF recommend this method!
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. Roosters in my experience tend to except newer chicks & chickens faster than the hens in a flock. Glad it is working out for ya.
     

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