help with mixing flocks

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by chicklover16, Jun 4, 2011.

  1. chicklover16

    chicklover16 queen of flirts

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    Em's Dungeon
    I have eight 16 week old chickens who are living in the coop and five 9 week old chickens who are living in the brooder, I would like to have them living together in the coop but whenever I put them together the big ones run around and peck the little ones on the head. does any one have any advice on how to mix them without too much trauma? also once I have them together how do I keep the little ones eating the medicated feed and the big ones eating the laying feed? any advice is appreciated, thanks.
     
  2. BooBear

    BooBear Chicken Cuddler

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    Make a makeshift integration pen inside the coop to where the older chickens can see the new ones without being able to harm them.
    The new ones need to be in there for atleast 2 weeks so everyone gets to know everyone. Also, they need to be at the same size as the older chickens before they are officially placed in with the older ones. This gives them a much better chance to be accepted and to defend themselves as there will be pecking as a new pecking order will need to be established.
     
  3. chicklover16

    chicklover16 queen of flirts

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    Em's Dungeon
    thanks, will do, any advice on how to keep them out of each others feed?
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2011
  4. hudsonnascarfan

    hudsonnascarfan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    well i might have some problems it the new chickens need to be the same size as the older birds when i start adding more chicks in my coop because ive got jersey giants now and wanted to try to add some better layers to my flock and was hopeing not to have to build a extra coop and run just to add a dozen more chickens
     
  5. Saffron2

    Saffron2 Out Of The Brooder

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    I believe only way to keep them out of each others feed is to physically separate them with wire/walls. It would be impossible to have them "free range" in the same space and not have them eat whatever food is available. I ended up feeding my layers chick starter for awhile and just made sure lots of oyster shell was available for them when my mama hen hatched her brood. They were in the same coop and I could not keep the chicks out of the layer ration. [​IMG]
     
  6. Opa

    Opa Opa-wan Chickenobi

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    Probably the easiest way to solve the food issue is to feed something like Flock Raiser and then provide oyster shell.
     
  7. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    That's right, no way to order them to only eat their feed. I agree grower for all and oyster shell free choice. The extra protein shouldn't hurt the big girls.
    My Jersey Giants are some of my best layers even though I have lots of egg breeds the JGs rarely skip a day.

    Another option for integrating is to put 1 of the less agressive older birds with the younger ones and add a bigger bird every couple of days holding the bullies till last. They'll be the newbies by then.

    Free ranging together is helpful also.

    Smaller birds need hiding places.
     
  8. ECBW

    ECBW Chillin' With My Peeps

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    For your age groups, I would say don't.

    I just went through my first integration. Right now I have mature birds, pullets, and young bantams living in the same group. They have been together for over one month now, but still maintain three separate groups. The pullets are especially territorial and aggressive.

    For Backyard keepers, introduce them when the birds reach the same size so they can work out the pecking order fairly.

    As for feed, I free choice both. The reasons are: one, gotta use up the chick feed. Two, some medication is not harmful to the big birds. Three, who knows what they eat anyway when they free range. Results: happy and healthy birds. One less thing for keeper to worry about.
     

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