I hate the intergration process

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by harleyjo, Jun 1, 2011.

  1. harleyjo

    harleyjo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 6, 2010
    SW Iowa
    I have month old chicks that I have been keeping in a stock tank in the garage. They started flying out of it. So the last 2 days I made a spot for them in the run of my chicken coop. I sure wish I could just put them in with the other 15 hens and 1 rooster I have but I just know there will be problems. Ugh!
     
  2. Rachel'sFlock

    Rachel'sFlock Chillin' With My Peeps

    I wish I could say something to make the "hating" less, but I am 4 weeks into a flock integration between year-old hens and (now) 11 week-olds. It has been quite an adventure.
    I started them, originally, in a mini-coop, entirely seperated from the biddies, but only chicken wire between them.

    2 weeks ago, I made a chick-sized opening in the wire, and they could come and go, but the biddies couldn't terrorize them too much.
    This week, I removed the partition entirely, but the babies still have 2 sides of their enclosure to "hide" in.

    The Ladies are just flat mean to the babies. [​IMG] It makes me so furious and I get loud and roo-ish when they do, and I am there.
    I also spend a couple of hours a day (in a couple of sessions) sitting out there and giving the babies an opportunity to wander out into the big coop without worry.
    Saturday, they will have the chance to go out into their new run, outside, and that will be new to everyone, so it will level the playing field a bit, for the new guys.

    It isn't an easy or fast process at all. But having done it the slow, tedious way, I can say it is worth it. I would have been just sick if anything had happened to the littles because of rushing it.
    I have been more rushed than I'd like because of space issues, which make intergration issues worse.

    My suggestion, make sure u have plenty of space for the total number. Gradually integrate, and be standing by for a while to make sure they aren't killing one another in the interim.
    Best of luck!
     
  3. AUChick9202

    AUChick9202 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 9, 2011
    Utah
    I hear you....I am in the process of integrating my 6 weekers with the 9 weekers....who would have thought that 3 weeks would make such a difference!! Last night the babies spent their first night in the "big girl" coop. I have a roo in the older bunch that makes sure that they know who is boss. Today they were in the yard together. I put out two feeding/watering stations, so that way if the roo ran the babies from one feeder...they could eat at the other. When they are all in the coop together, the babies just huddle in the corner....almost like if they stand perfectly still.....they won't be seen. What I have noticed today is that the roo no longer has to peck the babies, they just see him coming and run away screaming....

    Sorry....no words of wisdom.....just wanted you to know that you are not alone in your frustration.
     
  4. melloladies

    melloladies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 28, 2010
    Merritt Island
    Rachel'sFlock :

    I wish I could say something to make the "hating" less, but I am 4 weeks into a flock integration between year-old hens and (now) 11 week-olds. It has been quite an adventure.
    I started them, originally, in a mini-coop, entirely seperated from the biddies, but only chicken wire between them.

    2 weeks ago, I made a chick-sized opening in the wire, and they could come and go, but the biddies couldn't terrorize them too much.
    This week, I removed the partition entirely, but the babies still have 2 sides of their enclosure to "hide" in.

    The Ladies are just flat mean to the babies. [​IMG] It makes me so furious and I get loud and roo-ish when they do, and I am there.
    I also spend a couple of hours a day (in a couple of sessions) sitting out there and giving the babies an opportunity to wander out into the big coop without worry.
    Saturday, they will have the chance to go out into their new run, outside, and that will be new to everyone, so it will level the playing field a bit, for the new guys.

    It isn't an easy or fast process at all. But having done it the slow, tedious way, I can say it is worth it. I would have been just sick if anything had happened to the littles because of rushing it.
    I have been more rushed than I'd like because of space issues, which make intergration issues worse.

    My suggestion, make sure u have plenty of space for the total number. Gradually integrate, and be standing by for a while to make sure they aren't killing one another in the interim.
    Best of luck!

    Lost one today for this very reason [​IMG]
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=516090
     
  5. onthespot

    onthespot Deluxe Dozens

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    Mar 29, 2008
    Riverside/Norco, CA
    Lean some things against the sides of the run or coop so little guys can sneak behind them for peace and quiet. but make sure you brace it with nails, or a cinderblock so it doesn't fall and hurt or kill them. Put things they can walk on the other side of so they break the line of sight, like an upside down cardboard box. You can cut holes in it that only the little ones can go in. Put food and water near the hidey spots. It cuts the integration time a lot shorter and much less stressful on the babies. You can also go with a chunk of plywood set up on bricks or cinder blocks, whatever size will keep bigger birds out.
     
  6. Sorin

    Sorin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 15, 2010
    Glenfield, ny
    I sympathize with you [​IMG] I have had to do this several times, usually with just one or two chickens. But in another 5 weeks I have 11 toddlers who will be 3 months old I have to integrate with my flock of 6 adults. The only good thing is my rooster is a very sweet guy and my head hen is a BO that is generally a sweetheart to newbies. (usually just a few gentle pecks and she let's them stay near her and away from the others) unfortunately I have a Black Star who hates newcomers. But again, if she gets too rough my Roo usually thumps her [​IMG]. I am increasing the size of the main run, it's going to be triangle shape about 20 by 50, so about 500 square feet so I'm hoping integration won't be horrible [​IMG]
     
  7. harleyjo

    harleyjo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 6, 2010
    SW Iowa
    I had thought about putting some kind of divider in the coop but I just rearranged the coop to make it roomier and hate to chop it up again. I think we are going to build a separate area for them but until we get it done I guess I am going to have to just continue what I am doing. When they get 3 to 4 months old they will be about the same size. The other issue is unless I want to go to more expensive Flock Raiser feed, the chicks can't eat the layer feed.
     

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