I integrated my babies yesterday, and it was SO easy!!!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by jossanne, Aug 9, 2008.

  1. jossanne

    jossanne Songster

    Jul 11, 2008
    Gila, New Mexico
    I have 3 groups of chickens - 5 19wk old pullets, 4 8wk old polish, and 26 4wk old chicks. The older pullets have been in the henhouse for a couple of months, and I've been worrying how I was going to make them share it nicely with the others. It would have been pretty hard to divide.

    So a couple of weeks ago, I moved the polish babies out into the henhouse in a wire dog kennel. For the first few hours, the big pullets pecked through the cage every chance they got, but then started pretty well ignoring them. Early this week, I let them out for a while and sat in the coop to protect them for an hour or two. I did that for a couple of days. About Wednesday, I left them out all evening, and they were ignored, with the exception of an occasional bossy peck from one of the big girls. They've been integrated ever since, and are doing great.

    So two days ago, I moved half of my little chicks out to the dog kennel. Yesterday, my daughter and I sat out in the coop and let the little chicks out to get some space and stretch their legs. The big girls completely ignored them, so we got the other half of the chicks and brought them out. I tied the door of the kennel so it's open about 3" so the chicks can get in away from the big girls if they need to, and there's space between the inside wall of the coop and the kennel where the big girls can't get to.

    Last night, one of the chicks roosted up by the polish and the rest slept in a group on the ground. They are having a ball, dust bathing and running around, and they're all getting along great. The little ones are nervous of the 5 big girls, and run if they get too close, but the big girls are leaving them alone! I'm so excited!

    This was much easier than I expected, and I'm just crossing my fingers that we don't have any catastrophes coming...
  2. karanleaf

    karanleaf Songster

    Jun 29, 2008
    Glenwood, Missouri
    [​IMG] Thanks jossanne I just answered apost about putting younger chicks in with the older ones and I think your post may have helped us both. I quoted you to her post. Hope you don't mind. [​IMG]
  3. gumpsgirl

    gumpsgirl Crowing

    Mar 25, 2008
    Great job!!! [​IMG]
  4. jossanne

    jossanne Songster

    Jul 11, 2008
    Gila, New Mexico
    Quote:Nope, don't mind. I'm going looking for the other post now...
  5. comerrick

    comerrick Songster

    May 15, 2008
    Thanks! You give me hope!
  6. karanleaf

    karanleaf Songster

    Jun 29, 2008
    Glenwood, Missouri
    Jossanne It was Posted by MissyMoo I need Help under Raising Baby Chicks
    I had our 6 week old Maran chicks setting next to the run most of the day in their own cages. so they older ones can get use to their presents. We will do this for a few more days as weather allows. I am hoping in a week we can put the cages in the run for a day or 2 and then let them out. Or do you theink we could do it sooner?

    Thanks Karan
  7. chilisweet

    chilisweet Songster

    Jun 17, 2008
    Vancouver, WA
    Totally off topic, but Karan, your name is spelled almost like mine: Caran

    Do you pronouse your's Karen too?
  8. jossanne

    jossanne Songster

    Jul 11, 2008
    Gila, New Mexico
    Quote:Thanks Karan, I found it. I don't know how old your other chickens are. I wonder if my integration experience was so easy because my oldest birds are not quite 5 months old yet?

    I put my cage full of chicks right in the hen house, never outside where they could be seen first. It was a week or so before I let the polish chicks out at all, and then only with supervision. I think it was so easy to let my little chicks out because the big girls had just barely gotten used to the polish, who were still peeping themselves.

    I would just watch and see how the big girls at your house react to the little chicks, and gauge how intent they are on going after them. If they seem relatively un-interested, it could be time to let them be together, at least on a limited basis for a while.

    Best of luck!
  9. swampducks

    swampducks Overrun With Guineas

    Feb 29, 2008
    Barton City, MI
    I'm curious, how big is your coop? Not being too crowded might have made a difference. I think I would go stir crazy sitting in my coop for a couple hours. [​IMG]
  10. jossanne

    jossanne Songster

    Jul 11, 2008
    Gila, New Mexico
    My coop isn't as large as I would like, but I love to sit out there with my birds. It relaxes me. Especially when I need to hide from the kids. [​IMG] I sit on the ground in the wood shavings, and the birds peck at my shoes or toenails, jeans, fingernails, etc., and walk across my lap, perch on my knees... I'm such a CHICKEN NERD!

    Their house is 8ft x 10ft, and their yard is 10ft x 10ft.

    A while ago, I was sitting here reading on BYC and talking on the phone with my mom, and my 10yo DD brought me a note that said, "After you are done talking on the phone do you want to go sit in the chicken pen?" Then there was a "YES" and a "NO" and it said, "Circle your answer." Apparently I'm raising a chicken nerd too...

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: