Help integrating 6 week old pullets into adult flock with 2 guineas

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by MaggiesOrganic, Apr 2, 2015.

  1. MaggiesOrganic

    MaggiesOrganic Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 18, 2013
    Happy chickening to you all!

    We have 6 week old pullets that I feel are ready to be integrated with our established flock. Our flock is all adult hens, 2 austrolorp, one dominique and one polish with one polish rooster. We just downsized our flock at the auction, we used to have so many more!

    We also have a mated guinea pair in the enclosure. The enclosure is large, as is the henhouse. The enclosure is maybe 800 square feet, so everybody has room to roam.

    Anyhow, in the past we have simply placed the chicks in a separate pen within the enclosure for a day or two and then released with the others. My concern this year is that the guineas might be more aggressive with the chicks.

    Anybody with experience or advice??

    Thanks a bunch [​IMG]
     
  2. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

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    The best rule to follow is to not mix species of birds together. Keep chickens separate from Guineas, Turkeys, Geese, Ducks, and game birds. Let pullets develop to the size of hens if you must integrate them. Pullets are more developed at 7-9 months of age and have also developed immunity. Gradual integration is best on range, so young birds have a chance to flee from aggression as the pecking order is established. Keep a water/feed station available so they interact at that station.
     
  3. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Even with the large run, the six-week olds would benefit greatly from a panic room. This is a chick pen like you say you've had in the past, but it has 5x7 pop holes so the large birds, especially guineas, can't follow, and the chicks have continued safety until they are nearly adult size. Also, food and water placed inside the panic room assures the chicks do not need to compete with adults for these necessities.

    Usually I keep the chicks penned up for a week before letting them go mingle with the adults. That way everyone has a chance to accept the new ones are now part of the flock, therefore it's less likely they'll be immediately killed as intruders.
     
  4. MaggiesOrganic

    MaggiesOrganic Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 18, 2013
    Thanks! I love the panic room... will break out the hammer and nails tonight :)
     
  5. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    You can achieve the same sort of safe area by erecting barriers that interrupt the large pen that have a seven-inch clearance along the bottom. The adults can't squeeze under it, but the chicks can. It's quicker and easier than building pop holes. The only drawback is you can't contain the chicks if you need to.
     
  6. MaggiesOrganic

    MaggiesOrganic Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 18, 2013
    Thanks everybody! I happen to have a huge dog pen that we just barely squeezed into the chicken pen. The littles can go in and out as they please, and they have their own food and water. Brilliant! The guineas have not been much of a problem, just louder than usual. :) Thanks so much everyone!
     

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