Integrating Chicks and Flock Dynamics

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by hokankai, Jul 1, 2011.

  1. hokankai

    hokankai Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,734
    84
    203
    May 18, 2010
    SW WA
    I have a banty flock of 6 cochins, 1 silkie, and have recently added a mini flock of 2 d'uccles and 1 sizzle...everyone is around 7 weeks old with the d'uccle/sizzle flock being larger birds. I'm in the process of integration and after some patience and behavioral modification, the two d'uccles have been successfully integrated. However, when I put the sizzle (the largest chick of the brood) into the pen, she tends to be more dominant and ends up splitting up the flocks again. For example, last night all the chicks (minus the sizzle who was in isolation because of her aggression) were cuddled up to one another last night. This afternoon while the sizzle was having socialization time, they napped in their original flock groups instead of one.

    The sizzle is currently back in isolation because the others are afraid of her and I don't want a divided flock. What's the best way to add her back without the d'uccles separating from the cochins as well (or in other words, breaking up that flock)? The sizzle acts very motherly towards the d'uccles for some reason...and will attack any of the cochins that assert their dominance on the d'uccles. This causes problems in pecking order formation and whenever they are mingling...the cochins tend to be pushed to the edges and won't go near the sizzle.

    Also, when should I separate out the roosters from my flock? Looking at my flock dynamics, I have 3 roosters. The frizzled cochin is the most aggressive/assertive and is definitely going. Nobody likes him, haha. The mottled cochin is a sweetheart but is unfortunately at the lower end of the pecking order. One of the d'uccles seems to really hate him for some reason, and he's constantly getting picked on sad. The silkie is starting to be more assertive as he's getting bigger. It appears everyone respects him for the most part, except for the sizzle who is still bigger and will peck at him every once in awhile. I would like to keep either the mottled cochin or the silkie (can't decide which one hmm). Will the mottled cochin always be hated by the d'uccle or will her start asserting himself as he gets older and bigger?

    Sorry for the novel, haha. I'm just in a period of transition and could use some help [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by