Flock Introductions

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by cra-zchicknlady, Oct 10, 2015.

  1. cra-zchicknlady

    cra-zchicknlady Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 18, 2015
    Our current flock consists of four hens and a rooster, australorps, about six months old. We (meaning my well intentioned mother) just acquired 5 wyandottes. I know about the 30 day quarantine, and have read some columns on introductions after that, but some of its contradicting. Any advice? What's worked for you and what hasn't?
     
  2. goofychickens

    goofychickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    We have one wyandotte. Our method is (when the chicks have grown into pullets or cockerels) 1. To have the older ones in a coop (preferably wire) and let the others play outside.2. Or to put the newbies (when they're old enough) in the roost with the others at nighttime.
    -Goofy
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2015
  3. goofychickens

    goofychickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    And if they pick on them to much then buy some pick no more and put it on them
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Here's some notes I've taken on integration that I found to be very helpful.......
    ......take what applies or might help and ignore the rest.
    See if any of them, or the links provided at the bottom, might offer some tips that will assist you in your situation:

    Integration of new chickens into flock.


    Consider medical quarantine:
    BYC Medical Quarantine Article
    Poultry Biosecurity
    BYC 'medical quarantine' search

    Confine new birds within sight but physically segregated from older/existing birds for several weeks, so they can see and get used to each other but not physically interact. Integrating new birds of equal size works best.

    For smaller chicks I used a large wire dog crate right in the coop for the smallers. I removed the crate door and put up a piece of wire fencing over the opening and bent up one corner just enough for the smallers to fit thru but the biggers could not. Feed and water inside the crate for the smallers. Make sure the smallers know how to get in and out of the crate opening before exposing them to the olders. this worked out great for me, by the time the crate was too small for the them to roost in there(about 3 weeks), they had pretty much integrated themselves to the olders.

    If you have too many smallers to fit in a crate you can partition off part of the coop with a wire wall and make the same openings for smallers escape.


    The more space, the better. Birds will peck to establish dominance, the pecked bird needs space to get away. As long as there's no blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down, let them work it out. Every time you interfere or remove new birds, they'll have to start the pecking order thing all over again.

    Multiple feed/water stations. Dominance issues are most often carried out over sustenance, more stations lessens the frequency of that issue.

    Places for the new birds to hide out of line of sight and/or up and away from any bully birds.

    In adjacent runs, spread scratch grains along the dividing mesh, best of mesh is just big enough for birds to stick their head thru, so they get used to eating together.

    Another option, if possible, is to put all birds in a new coop and run, this takes the territoriality issues away.

    Read up on integration..... BYC advanced search>titles only>integration
    This is good place to start reading:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/adding-to-your-flock
     
  5. cra-zchicknlady

    cra-zchicknlady Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 18, 2015
    Great suggestions if you have the time during the day to watch them, but I work full time. What worked for me is putting them together during the night. There were a couple of awkward days of strutting and posturing, but no serious spats. Used this method twice now, and its worked the same both times. The second time was with immature birds, I waited until they were near adult size.
     

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