integrating new chickens- need advice

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by lwemmer, Jul 16, 2011.

  1. lwemmer

    lwemmer Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 16, 2011
    We have three hens that have been living in a pen with our pygmy goats in their own small Ark style tractor for about a year. We got new chicks this spring and have 4 hens and a rooster that are now about 5 months old and girls are starting to lay in a screened run that is separate (and far enough away that the chickens don't see each other). We just built a large coop in the pen with the goats that will house all the chickens. My husband is a small animal vet so we also had a tiny bantam hen come into us that someone had found. She appears about the same age as our new birds but they did not accept her when we tried to introduce her earlier. We want to move them all into the big coop but are wondering what the best strategy is. The pen with the goats is fairly large so I was thinking of introducing all the newbies together into the pen during the day where they have free roam and watching to see how it goes. One problem is the goats love to heat butt the chickens and the newbies will not be used to that - the poor bantam especially. I am most worried about the bantam as she is small and has been a singleton. I was trying to think of other options like putting all the news ones in the pen to roam free and keeping the ones that have been resident there inside the tractor so they get to see the new ones for a while before we let them mingle. Alternatively, the bantam could be in the tractor for a while if she gets picked on while the others get put together in the pen and then in the new coop.

    Any ideas for the best way to introduce these new ones?
     
  2. ddmiddle7

    ddmiddle7 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 8, 2011
    Indianapolis, IN
    This is just an opinion as I am new to chickens too. But I would not single out the bantam when you integrate them. I would let fer free range with the other girls and when you do decide to integrate them together make sure she is included. At least all the hens would still be new to each other at the same time, giving her a chance to establish herself with the others.
    Hopefully you will get a more experienced person to answer.

    [​IMG] From Indiana!!!!
     
  3. lwemmer

    lwemmer Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 16, 2011
    That's what I had thought too. Any ideas on whether it is better to put the rooster in with them all right away or to keep him separate and just let the girls get used to each other?
     

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