How to introduce 25, 2 month old chicks to 25, 1 year old flock???

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by sms1225, Apr 21, 2009.

  1. sms1225

    sms1225 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 21, 2008
    Southern Indiana
    I have a flock of 25 - 1 yr old RIR's & SLW's, which includes only 1 SLW rooster. He is really getting aggressive to all people, except me.

    I also have 25 - 2 month old chicks, with 1 rooster in the batch. The flocks have been kept in different locations. The 1 yr old flock is free range during the day. I plan on dividing my enclosed run so the 2 flocks can get use to each other for a while.

    Will I have problems with the (2) roosters, when I eventually put the 2 groups together? I was going to wait until the size of the younger ones is closer to the adult hens.

    I'm having a hard time deciding what to do about the aggressive rooster. He is a good guard for the older flock, but he doesn't have his spurs yet, a slow maturer. I'm really worried when his spurs fully develop. I have 5- 1 yr old hens with bare backs, from the rooster. I'm really worried when his spurs develop. I don't want the hens backs sliced open. I'm hopeful my new baby rooster- black astrolop will be nice. I wonder if he will pick up the habits of the aggressive rooster, if he watches the aggressive rooster's behavior.

    I have 2, 5 month old Great pyrenees puppies that I plan on using to protect the flocks eventually. I thought the aggressive rooster would hurt the puppies, but when they come up to the farm, the aggressive rooster just runs. I can't figure him out, very aggressive to people, but runs from large puppies.

    Any insight, suggestions, or experience with this situation would be very much appreciated.

    Thanks to everyone
     
  2. AkTomboy

    AkTomboy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 21, 2009
    DJ, Alaska
    Congrats on having Pyrs I have been lucky enough to be raised with them. My mom got her first one in 1971. We have always had chickens, turkeys and such. My advice is to keep an extra eye on the rooster with your pups, I am hoping you already have both of them around your flock as to help them grow the protective bond with your birds. Ive only had one Tom have a problem with one of my pyrs and that didnt last for long. So it sounds like the rooster has already taken the smart road and is not messing with them. But still you dont want him to hurt or scare the pups and have that make problems with them down the road. On a high note I have a pry right now that when the chickens get put up for our winter goes crazy unless you let him in atleast twice a day to see them when we are feeding and gettin eggs and such. Hope this helps some.
     
  3. Bantam Bodon

    Bantam Bodon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 12, 2009
    Osceola Mills PA
    Well your roosters may fight, but usually once the dominate one is established there will be no more fighting. Also i dont think your younger one will pick up any bad behaviors, my dad has two full grown roosters in his flock and they dont fight ever. One is very mean and attacks anything and anyone and the other one is as nice as the hens.

    Now i dont know how true this is, others on here will have to tell you if this works or not but i have heard if you combine the flocks in the middle of the night there wont be any fighting. Again, i dont know how true this is, there probably will be some sort of squabbling until the pecking order is reestablished.
     
  4. preppy*hippie*chick

    preppy*hippie*chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Centerburg, Ohio
    There is a video posted recently on removing the spurs. Doesn't look bad.
     
  5. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    Here is my story on my experiences putting my pullets with my hens. First I let them all out in the yard together when the pullets were about 12 weeks old and the hens were about 1 1/2 yrs old. I put lots of scratch out for them. It didn't go to well. The hens chased and picked on the pullets terrible so I separated them. They had been in different coops and adjacent runs for over a month prior to the first time I tried to put them together to range. Prior to putting the pullets in a coop, they were in a chicken tractor which was next to the hen's run and yard since they were chicks.

    Every evening for a month, I would take some scratch/seeds/grain mix and sprinkle it in the feed, and on the floor of the coop that I wanted the birds in. I was training them to go into their coops at night. The two coops with adjacent runs had access to a fenced in yard. I put a second pop door into the hen's house so when I eventually put them all together the pullets would have another door to use if needed. Also I had nest boxes in both coops. When I put them together in their yard the last time when the pullets were about 20 weeks, I had two hens that were terrible and jumping on the pullets and pulling their feathers out. I took the two most aggressive hens out and separated them from the rest. They were put into a separate pen for a week where all the rest of the chickens could walk around them see them but couldn't touch. When I did let them out, I put them all together in their yard with plenty of treats and scratch out hopefully to distract them. It worked for the most part, but for one of the hens. She was still very aggressive. When I saw her jump on one of the pullets I put her back in jail for a couple of days then let her out. She was still somewhat aggressive. When I saw her jump on a pullet, I sprayed her with water from a hose which is next to the coop which caught her by surprise. She went running into the coop and didn't come out for awhile. I have repeated the hose caper a few times. She has calmed down since then.

    Since my goal was to eventually get all of the birds to live in one coop, I decided to switch the birds around and put the pullets in the hen's house and the hens in the pullet's coop. I shut the runs off from each other and the yard so they only had access to the coops and runs I put them in. I didn't lock them in the coop. I left the pop doors open to the run for that coop. They could go at free will into their run but not the other run, other coop or their yard for a week. I continued with the treats in the coops in the evenings trying to keep the ritual of evening treats in the coop so they would go in for their treats. After the switch for a week I opened the gates to the runs and yard. I let them all range together. For the next week I let them choose which coop to roost in and most except for 3/4 birds roosted in the hen's house. After a week of free choice coops I shut the pop door on the pullets coop. Now they either had to roost in the hen’s house or in the run. They do have a ladder in their run. There was a little bickering in the beginning at roosting time but all is well now and they have worked out their pecking order. They all roost now in the hen's house. There are pictures on my BYC Page.

    Sorry this post is so lengthy.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2009
  6. NancyDz

    NancyDz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 9, 2008
    Dutch Flat, CA
    Having them next to each other for a couple weeks will help a lot. That's how I always integrate mine. My flock isnt as big as yours but after the 2-3 week period of being next to each other, I combine them at night, putting them inside the coop. I usually put more than one feeder and waterer in the coop/run so that there is options for any that are being bullied. But usually after a day, there isnt much squabbling.


    Good luck. Not sure on the roosters as I've only had two and they grew up together as buddies so there was never a problem.


    Nancy
     
  7. Zenbirder

    Zenbirder Chillin' With My Peeps

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    New Mexico
    Just a bit of encouragement for you: I am integrating 17 two year olds with 25 ten week olds. It is going very well, I still put them in separate places at night and most of the day the little ones are in the orchard pen and the big girls free range. I have been slowly working at the integration for a couple of weeks. Twice a day now they mix, and really I have only one hen who gets a bit aggressive, and she gets bored of chasing them pretty fast. The area is large enough that there is plenty of room for the little ones to run away when necessary. I am comfortable enough now to leave them mixed unattended in the evening for an hour or two. I don't know about getting them all in the main coop together yet, I am just going slowly by what feels right at the time.
     
  8. sms1225

    sms1225 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 21, 2008
    Southern Indiana
    Thanks to everyone who responeded. You all gave me some really great practical experiences and methods to try.

    I love this website!!!

    THANKS
     
  9. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    Nov 18, 2007
    Florida
    My Coop
    Oops...........
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2009

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