Integrating new birds

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Scottankarens, Mar 23, 2015.

  1. Scottankarens

    Scottankarens Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 19, 2015
    Scipio, IN
    I'm currently raising 6 Australorp, 14 Welsummer pullets and 10 Cinnamon Queen Pullets. They're all between 3 and 4 weeks. I've recently discovered that 2 of my Australorps are cockerels. I've also recently ordered and additional 14 Black Copper Maran pullets, 1 BCM rooster, 1 Welsummer Rooster and 3 Easter egger hens. The new birds will be here in about 3 weeks.

    Ok, I've got 2 questions:

    1) Will I have a problem adding the BCM's in with the older birds when the BCM's get older?

    2) Will I have a problem with having 4 roosters with 45 Hens?

    Thank you for taking the time to educate a rookie :-D
     
  2. Scottankarens

    Scottankarens Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 19, 2015
    Scipio, IN
    Still looking for some help :)
     
  3. Kikiriki

    Kikiriki Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Any of the groups raised apart will go through some integration. The younger ones will be chased, possibly pecked, but only intervene if there is actual injury. Personally, I would cull a bird that draws blood. A show of force is normal, even within an age group. None of my few birds have ever broken the flesh of another bird, despite acting like warrior queens.

    As to the roosters, it should be fine with that many hens, but you will want to watch them for overly aggressive mating. Balding backs, or broken skin on the back will let you know there is a problem. If you like your Roos, though, a saddle for the hens might be the way to go.
     
  4. newchixs

    newchixs New Egg

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    Nov 28, 2014
    At what age should I introduce my new chicks into my existing flock. My older birds are only 6 months old and my new birds are almost 2 months old. My new chicks are jumping out of the broader and its a large horse troth.
     
  5. nanahogs

    nanahogs Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 8, 2015
    I usually don't mix in my chicks until they are big enough to defend themselves. Usually around 12 weeks but I have seen people mixing them sooner.
     
  6. cstronks

    cstronks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I did an entire integration process with my flock last spring, and it worked out great. Let me search for the link to put it up!
     
  7. Kikiriki

    Kikiriki Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 26, 2011
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    You can start to do it now. Divide the area for them: they should be close, but apart. A week or so like that.

    Before you take out the division, inspect their area:
    The young ones will try to squeeze into small openings. They can get stuck and die. Block those holes up.
    They will run into corners and suffocate whoever is on the bottom. Put concrete blocks or plastic tables in such areas. It makes them divide up, and allows them to jump up, then fly over whoever is chasing them.
    Do provide a safe haven! An area where they can hang out safely should have an opening they can get through, but that is too small for the older birds. I just used a dog crate, but I only had two youngsters. I put their food in there so they would always have access to some.
    I still feed in several different spots all across the run. I only feed enough for a day at a time (rodent problem) and I put the feed directly on the ground. It only took a couple of days to figure out the correct amount to feed. I reserve a small amount to feed an hour before their bedtime so they have food in their crops overnight.
    There are good videos on YouTube for integration help. It is where I got the most info.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2015
  8. cstronks

    cstronks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/...ck-today-pics-of-setup-included#post_13902996

    Here is the link to my integration. Keep in mind that all of your birds are young, so integration will be much easier than if it were with an established flock. Typically pecking orders do not develop until the birds are at full size (or at least near it). My best advice to you would be to gauge the size of the new birds against that of the birds you already have. Size is generally one of the best indicators regarding integration. You never want to put birds together if one group is less than 3/4 the size of the largest bird. I have always waited for the sizes to be equal when I integrate. As you will see in my post, I divided the entire run and coop in half to allow for the birds to visually see each other yet not come into contact. It allowed the birds to establish a level of comfort over the 60 day period that I had them separated.

    Since you have chicks, they can be integrated more easily. I have never integrated chicks, so I don't wish to be considered an expert on the subject, however I have read plenty on it and I am uner the impression that younger birds are easier to integrate. It is birds that are 1 year or older than need more delicate attention to avoid violence and injury. You can still create a barrier between your birds for a shorter span, and then integrate with routine supervision.

    Lastly, some commenters on my thread brought up the question of disease. Make sure the new chicks you are getting are healthy (possibly put them in a quarantine) to ensure they have not carried in a new disease. I have no idea where you bought any of your birds from, but you want to be careful. I did not use any quarantine because I bought my birds from a reputable local farm that had previously observed the birds and seen no signs of disease. I had no problems with disease, so this confirms that they were healthy. It is just a thought to keep in mind.

    Best of luck! Please let me know if this helps!
     
  9. Kikiriki

    Kikiriki Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 26, 2011
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    My two batches of chicks were only two weeks apart, but it was enough that they were bigger and they were very hostile to the younger newcomers in "their" territory. My two old girls, of course, have been horrors to all the youngsters, who are now 20-22 weeks old. They are finally big enough to not be at severe risk from the old girls, so integration is now complete: I can let them all out into the same area with only the occasional screeching sqwak of distress or anger.

    And now that I have finally have peace, I have three babies in the house:rolleyes:
     
  10. Scottankarens

    Scottankarens Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 19, 2015
    Scipio, IN
    Great info everyone, thank you! It sounds like sense mine will be pretty close in age, it may not be a big issue. However to error on the side of caution, I will be splitting my coop down the middle as well for a spell and taking my time. [​IMG]
     

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