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Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by OrionDarkwood, Apr 15, 2016.
Following this to see how it goes
Day 1 - Update
Went out this morning and let them out of the coop. Black Rangers (BR) all where ok and looked well adjusted. But didn't come out of the coop, which was expected. Gave them some treats cantaloupes and grapes to them to help ease any ruffled feathers
First hen usually rolls into the coop to pop out a egg around 10ish, no problems despite 25 BR's watching her. My roo (Chief) growled at them a couple of time while walking by the door to the coop.
Early afternoon the first few BRs come out into the run, the hens are curious but not aggressive. One BR got pecked and rolled with good reason it tried to chest bump the head hen. However she did not pursue the BR and no one seemed alarmed. The BR's quickly learned to get away from the adult chickens when they came close.
I did note a odd thing, Chief growled his basic "Something ain't right" growl and the hens stopped and got quiet, a couple of seconds later one of the BR's made a odd cluck and the BR's got quiet
Eveing came and the BR's went back into the coop except one that got mixed up and ended up on the far end of the coop, I watched the adults go in hoping the lone BR would follow them in. No such luck so I brought it in and put it with the other BR that have a roost near the ground I build for them and installed last night when I put them together.
I think the proof will be in 4 weeks when we introduce some Australope pullets into the flock, which will be about the time we will start processing broilers..
So far, so good!!
It's easy to integrate young chicks to a flock because it's normal and not a threat. They assume they are someone's chicks. Older birds are seen as intruders. I let my adult birds see my 6-8 week chicks for about a week than I let them out. There's an occasional peck but just like you've seen it's easy. The bedding had nothing to do with it.
The chickens are not dumb they wont suppose that the chicks are someones invyhe flocks.They know who is broody and has hatched.
I raised chickens growing up (Leghorns, Rhode Island Reds, Plymouth Rocks and Barnyard Buzzards aka mutt chickens). And I remember always having some problems and a bird or two dying or getting injured before the two flocks integrated. That was close to 30-35 years ago. This is my first experience with Astrualopes and Black Rangers.
From the sounds of it, you have had more recent experience with this than we have. So I have not stumbled onto anything new.
Do the different breeds matter??
I don't know as I said first time dealing with either breed. The adult Australorps are 8 months old and we chose them because of them being dual purpose and black chickens are harder for predators to spot. We selected the Black Rangers because they are fast growing meat birds and black as well.
Hmm... ok. I see. I'd be really interested in hearing your results with either/both of them for meat birds. I have 6 Cornish Cross that are 7 weeks old tomorrow. So the time is drawing near for them.
I have been integrating chicks for 20 years. Older birds, anything older than three months always had a rough time. I too stumbled on it and was surprised how little the older birds bothered the chicks. Later when I had a broody hatch and raise chicks in the flock I noticed no one bothered those either and the roosters would actually participate in feeding them. Chickens don't know my chicks don't have a mother so they treat them like they belong. They still correct them and remind them who's boss. The chicks keep to their own group but are accepted into the flock.