How do you expect this integration will go

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Roo5, Jul 23, 2019.

  1. Roo5

    Roo5 Songster

    Feb 17, 2019
    Just seeing how people will think my chickens will integrate.I have about 7 new hens whom I will be introducing to 16 3 month olds,6 cockerels and 10 pullets.Im interested to here about everyone else’s integration as far as behavior.I also would like info on the breeds as I have no idea.Since the birds have been separated they haven’t t seen each other nor hear one another so this will defiantly be interesting.
  2. ChickNanny13

    ChickNanny13 Crossing the Road

    Jun 23, 2013
    The Big Island/Hawaii
    What are the dimensions of your coop and run?

    Your original flock is (16) made up of 3month olds; 6 cockerels & 10 pullets
    You're wanting to introduce 7 new hens, age?

    Recommend a "see but no touch' method, recommenced often but alot depends on the size of your coop/run. If their quarters are "cramped" there will be issues for sure. You're probably will need to eliminate some cockerels when the hormones kick in.
  3. BigBlueHen53

    BigBlueHen53 Crowing

    Mar 5, 2019
    SE Missouri, USA
    We followed the "see but no touch" method to integrate our chicklets to our older flock and it went great, no issues. The chicklets from about 10 weeks were in a pen next to the olders. Finally at about 14 weeks I opened a gate and let them discover they could mingle. At night the continued to use their separate coops for a while, then the young ones began sleeping on the floor of the big girls' coop so I closed up the old little coop. After a couple weeks the babies began to roost with the big girls and also to free range with them. Success! No stress! Happy hens!
  4. Roo5

    Roo5 Songster

    Feb 17, 2019
    I don’t exactly remember the dimensions of our run and coop but will get measurements.Its a pretty large run and has several roosting stations, dust bathing stations and different things to entertain them,I also plan on adding extra feed and water.On top of this we have EVEN bigger run being built on top of a huge barn shed so they’ll have extra space, plan on having the extra space added on in a few weeks.

    The 7 new hens are all over a year of age.
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Trying to picture a run being build on top of a "huge barn shed" <scratcheshead>
    Dimensions(you have a tape measure, right?) and pics would be most helpful.
    Space is the most importunate aspect of.....
    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.

    How long separated, and why separated out of sight and hearing?

    Start a new thread here, with pics, for breed and gender ID:
    ChickNanny13 and Roo5 like this.
  6. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    I would pull all the rooster chicks and put them in a bachelor pad. They either are or are going to shortly cause a lot of strife in your pullets. I hope you are not thinking that by adding 7 hens you can keep all those roosters in one flock. Even a flock of 17 hens needs only one rooster. I would not add another rooster until I was over 25 hens if you want a peaceful, healthy flock.

    As for the females, a lot depends on what you can stand. Some people cannot stand any pecking order dispute, and tend to take extended time to get them all together in the see/ no touch plan.

    I figure it more like negative and positive numbers, and try to get to zero.
    Younger birds = -10
    Home territory = +5
    Older birds = +7
    Strange set up = -3

    So if you have space, if you have multiple hide outs, if you have multiple feed stations, and all of your birds are large fowl, then I would put everyone together in the late afternoon. Take a powerful squirt gun, so that you could break up a disaster, or a fish net or chicken hook, to separate birds if this gets out of hand.

    The bigger the space, the bigger the flock, and the closer you are to the same amount of birds on each side, the easier it is. There will be dust ups, feather pulling, squawking, chasing. But as long as no one is bleeding, let it go.

    Often times, there will be one or two birds that will not let this go, pull them out for a week. You do need to keep this under pretty close supervision for a couple of days.

    Mrs K
    ChickNanny13 and Roo5 like this.

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