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Integrating advice please

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by sunnie7, May 4, 2017.

  1. sunnie7

    sunnie7 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 24, 2016
    I have 2, almost 7 week old bantam Cochins that I'm trying to integrate to my flock of 3 ~9 month old silkie/ Cochin hens. I got them when they were around 4 weeks old so I started off with them in the garage in a brooder and have been taking them out to my open run area during the day and putting them in a wire dog cage where the hens free range around them. This week I've been propping open their door just enough for them to go in and out for a couple hours during the day and letting them mingle supervised. It has went well. There were a few pecks the first day but then hens don't even pay much attention to the babies. My issue is the space inside my secured coop and run is too small to set up the babies their own space protected from the hens. Last night once it was dark I attempted to slip the babies inside the coop and let them sleep in there. As soon as I did my silkie started pecking them. Do I need to wait until they are older? I'm getting tired of having to bring them into the garage every night but the only thing I have outside is the dog crate with a tarp on the top and 3 sides. Any suggestions? My current set up is this small prefab (DH is supposed to be building a new coop at the end of summer, early fall). My hens only go into the coop to sleep at night and lay. They mostly free range in the 21'x18' fenced in area.
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    Last edited: May 4, 2017
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    St. Louis, MO
    What is the dimensions of your coop and run for the 10 birds?
    It's all about the space but your established flock will try to protect its territory. You may need to wait till they are close to the same size depending on space. If quarters are large enough 7 younger birds may not take long to be accepted into a flock of 3 adults.
     
  3. sunnie7

    sunnie7 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 24, 2016
    Sorry I wasn't too clear! I have 2 chicks that are almost 7 weeks old. My current coop is a small prefab one (DH is building a new one at the end of summer) my attached run is 12'x3.5' and then I have a fenced in area that they free range in most days that's 21'x18'. They only go in the coop to lay and sleep.
     
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Sorry, I misunderstood. So you are talking about 5 birds.
    At 42 sq. ft. the pen is pretty tight.
    I'd free range them all together and watch how they interact.
    Since there's a fair difference in size, when you end up putting them together at night, make sure you let them out at dawn otherwise that tight space will cause some issues.
    Also, until completely integrated, provide 2 separated feed and water stations so the older ones can't starve the chicks out.
     

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