How to integrate successfully

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by matven123, Oct 30, 2015.

  1. matven123

    matven123 In the Brooder

    Oct 24, 2015
    Ontario Canada
    I currently have two 3month old, and three 2/12 month old chicks ( I think two might be roosters unfortunately) and I just picked up 5 year and a half old isa Browns. How can I make the integration of the chicks to the older chickens more easy as the older chicks are picking on the little ones especially my tiny OEGs

  2. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    How much space do you have? Can you describe or post pics of your set up so we know the framework you're dealing with?

    General tips are to have lots and lots of space, and hiding places in the coop and run. My hiding places are as simple as a piece of plywood or scrap wood leaning up against the wall or fence, just something to break line of sight and let the lower bird hide for a few minutes. I've used feed troughs on their sides, Rubbermaid totes, cardboard boxes, straw bales etc. Mrs. K uses pallets up on cement blocks. There are lots of things you can do to give them a hidey-hole. But you've got to have the space.
  3. matven123

    matven123 In the Brooder

    Oct 24, 2015
    Ontario Canada
    Ya I have a 36 sqft coop for the 10 birds and the run is small right now but they will be free roaming I just need to find a new home for one of my puppies he isn't to farm friendly chases the cattle and chickens constantly. I am looking at probably a 70 - 100 sq ft. But thanks for the tips I will try and get some hiding spots up for sure.
  4. matven123

    matven123 In the Brooder

    Oct 24, 2015
    Ontario Canada
    Oh that 70-100 sqft is a run that I can keep them in when we leave for the day

  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Crowding could be a problem....especially if you experience extreme weather in your area.

    I'd suggest a larger or separate coop attached to the large run.

    Here's some notes I've taken on integration that I found to be very helpful.......
    ......take what applies or might help and ignore the rest.
    See if any of them, or the links provided at the bottom, might offer some tips that will assist you in your situation:

    Integration of new chickens into flock.

    Consider medical quarantine:
    BYC Medical Quarantine Article
    Poultry Biosecurity
    BYC 'medical quarantine' search

    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. Integrating new birds of equal size works best.

    For smaller chicks I used a large wire dog crate right in the coop for the smallers. I removed the crate door and put up a piece of wire fencing over the opening and bent up one corner just enough for the smallers to fit thru but the biggers could not. Feed and water inside the crate for the smallers. Make sure the smallers know how to get in and out of the crate opening before exposing them to the olders. this worked out great for me, by the time the crate was too small for the them to roost in there(about 3 weeks), they had pretty much integrated themselves to the olders.

    If you have too many smallers to fit in a crate you can partition off part of the coop with a wire wall and make the same openings for smallers escape.

    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 blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down, 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 and/or up and away from any bully birds.

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

    Another option, if possible, is to put all birds in a new coop and run, this takes the territoriality issues away.

    Read up on integration..... BYC advanced search>titles only>integration
    This is good place to start reading:

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by