Integrating Adults?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by hoping4better, Aug 12, 2011.

  1. hoping4better

    hoping4better Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 22, 2010
    Middle Tennessee
    I've looked for integration posts, but most seem to either be addressing disease or chicks. I have recently (couple months) lost over half my flock to dog attacks, so I am buying some hens from not too far away. They sound like they raise their chickens like I do, Scott-free eating what they can find plus a little feed.

    So the question. What is the best way to integrate to protect against possible infections (none of my chickens HAS EVER seemed to have any diseases or bugs and none have aver had any form of medication other than iodine to protect them when they got injured (dog attacks and one rooster fight with a strange roo that just showed up one day))

    My thought was to set up a sturdy 1/2 wire (NOT chicken wire) section outside for them with water and food. It would be fully enclosed and covered with netting. I would keep them there for a week. Then at night I would transfer them to inside the coop and let them sort out the rest.

    For background- 7 current chickens were raised together from three days. Two roos and 5 hens. They are what left of twenty that were hatched last November. I have 5 pullets/cockerels that are probably 10 weeks that are semi-integrated. They were hatched by a broody of the originals and forage as their own flock, but sleep and rest during the day with the big Chickens. One of the originals (a buff orp) is currently brooding over 8 two week olds. They're mostly all mutts of sex-links, a greenegger, barred rock and a single buff with 8 of her own progeny.

    The chickens I'll be getting tomorrow will be a black white egg layer, a few mixed breeds and a couple Marans - 6 in total ranging from 6 months to over a year old all from a single flock.

    SO- will my plan work/ how could I do it better? The coop is limited in space having been built for 20 chickens. It barely fits them, but they range completely free during the day over as much of three acres as they like (but they usually stick to the acre closest to the house/front yard) I am guessing of the mid-size/babies I've got 30-50% are cockerels, so in a month or two (or three) several will be going to freezer camp.
     
  2. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    The best to keep them disease free is to quarantine them for 30 days in a completely separate location. Do not wear the same shoes in both coops - visit your coop first, then visit the new birds, then wash up. You'll want to check them over for lice/mites. (look near the vent for lice) 30 days is by no means a guarantee, but most issues would show up in that timeframe.

    Look here for more quarantine info:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=12751

    Once this quarantine time frame is over, then you can put them in an area where they can see each other and get used to each other, but not fight. I've had success with as little as a week doing this before putting them together.
     

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