Help with integrating

Cheryls

Chirping
Oct 19, 2013
32
34
97
I have a coop and run that can house eight chickens. The run is sectioned off by a door. In the past, the big girls would be house on the side of the run that has the coop. The Littles would be house on the side of the run with no coop. That way they can see but no touching. So when the time comes to integrate I just open the door and let them mingle. In the past, I have no problems everyone gets along. Usually this happens in December but this year I decided to get spring chicks. This year when I open the door to let them mingle about a week later, One chick got scalped. So I cleaned her up and separated her then the next day another one’s head was bleeding. Not as bad just a peck. So I put her in with the scalped chicken. So on the coop side of the run I have three that are one year olds and two that are at 22 weeks. The two that were injured are 22 weeks also. After the two healed, the scalped one healed but Has no feathers on head, I tried again to integrate. The scalped one got pecked again and was bleeding. So I took her and her friend out again. So my question is how do I Integrate these two? I thought about adding one at a time of the big girls to the two that were injured. I don’t know who the bully is. What y’all think? Thanks for the help!
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
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Not sure how it worked out before....different ages or more space/less birds maybe?
One week of 'see no touch' might not have been long enough.
Are they chicks in the separate area 24/7?
Do you free range at all?

So three at 1 year old......and four at 22 weeks old?
Dimensions and pics of your coop and runs might help here.

Here's some tips that might help about....
Integration Basics:
It's all about territory and resources(space/food/water).
Existing birds will almost always attack new ones to defend their resources.
Understanding chicken behaviors is essential to integrating new birds into your flock.

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.

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

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 copious blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down and beaten unmercilessly, 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'(but not a dead end trap) and/or up and away from any bully birds. Roosts, pallets or boards leaned up against walls or up on concrete blocks, old chairs tables, branches, logs, stumps out in the run can really help. Lots of diversion and places to 'hide' instead of bare wide open run.
 

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