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Flock merging - day 3 - how long till the merge is complete?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Chicken Little-er, Jul 11, 2011.

  1. Chicken Little-er

    Chicken Little-er In the Brooder

    Feb 5, 2011
    Today is the third day of merging 3 6-week olds into a flock of 7 12-week olds. We created a corner in the run where the little ones could get shelter and in the coop they can get into a separate space that the big girls can't. The big girls are still pecking and chasing and the little ones spend quite a bit of time in their safe zone. How long should this period go on? Am I prolonging it by having safe spots for the smaller ones? No blood drawn - but a lot of chasing and pecking. Most of which is coming from an Araucana - Lucille - who I think is second in the pecking order of the original flock. All advice most welcome - this seems like a very long period! Thanks!

  2. Sorin

    Sorin Songster

    Jul 15, 2010
    Glenfield, ny
    It will take some more time yet. You may want to separate the worst offender for a few days if you can. It sounds like you have done good with providing safe spots for the smaller ones [​IMG] If you have the time, I would make the little ones come out and spend time with the bigger girls while you can supervise and step in if need be. You may have a point that with all the good hiding spots that it may be prolonging it, but you know your chickens, and if you don't feel it's safe then do as you think best. The fact is, its never easy for us to watch this, but it is part of nature and usually will not end in bloodshed, after a few more days it should get better. But it won't subside completely, it will take a few more weeks before they are fully integrated into one happy flock. Good Luck! [​IMG]
  3. Mattemma

    Mattemma Crowing

    Aug 12, 2009
    I had to pull some of my meanies.To this day(a year in Septermber) the 2 old girls will still peck the 5 added EE hens. I think it is just something you have to tolerate,but if there is serious attacking/injury going on you pull out the meanies.Keep the meanie in a dog crate for a while,or get rid of it.

    I read it is good to preoccupy them with snacks.
  4. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Keep your safe zones. It's different with each flock, but it took two MONTHS for my original flock to accept two newbie pullets I introduced last year, and that was with a lot of freeranging. Since your original flock is so young, surely they'll accept your newbies within a few weeks. As the others said, if one pullet is doing almost all of the bullying, you can stick her hiney in a dog crate for a few days. She won't be happy, but it's not cruel (as long as she has food/water).
  5. ECBW

    ECBW Songster

    Apr 12, 2011
    10 more weeks.

    That was how long mine took, when the little ones finally caught up in size.

    Next time I do this, I plan to keep them separated until they are the same size.
  6. Chicken Little-er

    Chicken Little-er In the Brooder

    Feb 5, 2011
    Thanks everyone! Things seem to be going better this morning - the three little ones are out from their safe spot and pecking and scratching - and running back as needed. I actually have a dog crate in the middle of the run -- thought it would be for the little ones, but I may pop Lucille in there for an hour or two this afternoon if she's too mean. I'm also trying to distract the big girls by hanging forage cake and giving them some melon, etc. The last two evenings at dusk the big girls went into roost before the little ones -- the little ones enjoyed having the run to themselves for a bit. Marigold - the top big girl and a Buff Orpington - came back out a couple of times as if looking to get them in too - which I thought was a good sign. Eventually the little ones went up the ramp and to bed and there was peace in the valley. It was so tender and sweet.

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