I wasn't aware that I had to 'manage' my flock.

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by backinthecoop45, Jun 13, 2016.

  1. backinthecoop45

    backinthecoop45 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have read several threads & still unable to find anything that answers my questions so I am trying this method.
    I am trying to introduce my 3 week old Ameracauna chick into my flock of 6 week old mixed (1 Buff, 1 Orp. & 3 RIR) & within seconds of putting her in the run they start chasing her & pecking at her so then I step in & remover her & return her to her own space by herself in the basement. I've been doing this for a few days now. Will this stop? Am I doing it wrong? Is it to soon for intro's? Also, how do I get my flock into the hen house(coop) at night and do they need their food & water in with them?
     
  2. feedman77

    feedman77 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Maybe put her in a cage where they can see each other but not touch each other for a few days.
    Then try reintegration.

    I have not had this issue with birds that young. But I usually introduce more than one.

    For getting the to go into the hen house. Keep them in it with food and water for 3 or 4 days. Then let them out about an hour or so before they go to roost. They should call the hen house home and go back in on their own.
     
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  3. feedman77

    feedman77 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    :welcome
     
  4. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    When integrating new flock members, a look but don't touch period really does help for a smooth transition. Also, chasing and pecking is normal, and will happen, regardless. That's how pecking order is established and maintained.
    Space is also something that needs to be considered. How big is your run and how big is the coop?
    To get them 'homed' to the coop, keep them shut in for 24 hours with food and water. Then release them into the run. They should, by that point, understand that the coop is their secure shelter and where they need to be at dusk. If they still refuse to go in, a small, battery-powered light in the coop may help. Chickens do not have good night vision, and that coop can look like a gaping hole of death to a young chick. It's natural for them to avoid it. By providing a bit of light so they can see inside, just until it's dark, will help them get in the habit of going to the coop each night.
    They do not eat or drink at night, so keeping food and water in the coop is not really necessary.
     
  5. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    The first issue is this: It's never a good idea to raise a single chick. If one ends up with an accidental single chick, it's a good idea to get at least one more ASAP, and it's a good idea to never raise less than 3 at a time.

    Here's my recommendation: Take one chick from your group of 6 week old chicks. (preferably the most timid one) Put it with your 3 week old chick in the basement brooder. It's important that you not have much heat, if any at all in that brooder at this point. This chick should be left with your 3 week old chick to become a permanent buddy for the younger chick. The best place to introduce new birds to each other is when they are out free ranging. With chicks this young, that's not an option. But, if you can manage the introduction in a little secure pen outdoors on your lawn on a warm day, that would be perfect. Be sure they have plenty of chickie sized treats to entertain themselves with. No matter how much the older chick protests, don't take her out. She will scream her head off because she has been removed from HER flock. But, she needs to bond with your young chick. After spending some time outside together, they can both go into the basement brooder. The only reason to separate them is if the older chick draws blood from the younger one. Then... just separate with a screen, so they can still see each other, and put their feed up against the screen, so that they are "eating together" even though separated by the screen. When they are getting along well, (This may take a week) you can add an other one. I'd get 2 - 3 chicks introduced to the younger one and interacting well with it, then put that mini flock back in with the rest of your older birds.
     
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  6. backinthecoop45

    backinthecoop45 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi. Thank you very much for your information & suggestions however I guess I forgot to mention that they are all females.
    Unfortunately our city codes do not allow roosters. Which brings me to my next question. Do the chickens need the rooster to get chicks?
    Don't they lay eggs naturally then if they want chicks they won't let you gather them & will continue to stay on the eggs until they hatch?
     
  7. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    You need a rooster for fertile eggs. Infertile eggs will not hatch. Just like with any animal, you need a male and a female to produce offspring.
    A hen will ovulate (lay eggs) without a male present, but they will not develop into viable embryos. Just like a human female will menstruate regularly, even if there are no men around.
    And hens can and will go broody without a rooster around.
    Oh, and hatchery sexing is only about 90% accurate, and some breeds have even lower accuracy rating. There is always a chance of getting a rooster, even if you purchase sexed pullets. It's just a fact of raising chickens.
     
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  8. backinthecoop45

    backinthecoop45 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi. Thank you very much for your information & suggestions. Boy, I am really surprised at the quick & great responses that I received!
    We built the coop at 6x8 but we haven't made a 'run' yet. I am pretty much going about this chicken raising thing one day at a time and learning as I go.
    I am not sure yet as to how long and high it should be for the amount of chickens I have. I will try to post a picture of what we built.
    I tried your light in the coop idea and it worked! :) thank you[​IMG]
     
  9. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    That is actually a coop/run combo. When talking about the 'coop' we mean the enclosed shelter. Run refers to the open air portion. A coop needs to have at least 4 sq ft of floor space per adult bird for the average Leghorn-type breed. You have larger breeds, so yours will need about 5 sq ft per bird. And the run area needs to have a minimum of 10 sq ft per bird.
     
  10. backinthecoop45

    backinthecoop45 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 6, 2016
    North Central Minnesota
    Hi. Thank you very much for your information & suggestions. It has been raining quite a bit here lately but it's suppose to clear up by Thursday so
    I will try putting the two in together in an outside pen on that day. The 'timid' one of the bunch so far has been the Australorp. The Buff seems to be the 'boss'
    which is confusing because I heard that they are suppose to be good mothers but her and one of the 3 RIR's are the aggressive ones towards the little Ameracauna chick.
    The only 'chickie treats' that I have learned about are hanging a piece of cabbage
    or peeled & cored apples. I have been giving them mealworms also. They love those! :) How many times & how often should I give them treats?
     

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