Integrating new chicks not going well!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by NoStoChickylady, Apr 22, 2016.

  1. NoStoChickylady

    NoStoChickylady New Egg

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    Mar 23, 2016
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    Hello all I have established hens that I'm trying to introduce news pullets to and it's not going well. I've kept them seperated in a crate in the coop so the hens can see them but not get to them for about a week and a half now but everytime I try to let them meet the hens attack and it's awful. I know it takes time but it's terrible to hear the chicks squeak in pain! I have barred rocks, Rhode Island reds and an Auracanna that are hens and they have always been docile and friendly now they are very agitated! Help!
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    How big is your set up? The less room the harder it will go. How old are they? Pullets indicate older birds which are harder than young chicks. The older the birds you are introducing the longer it will take.
     
  3. azjustin

    azjustin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 1, 2016
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    Size matters! And a safe place for the chicks to run away to does also.

    Introducing small chicks to large hens will not work (at least for our girls). Introducing medium size hens to large hens should work as long as the chicks have a place to escape to where the hens cannot go. Cockerels are an entirely different subject....

    If the current group is visibly agitated with the new group, I wouldn't even chance integration until everyone is at least comfortable with the sight of each other.

    We have a separate coop, inside the large coop/run, that houses anyone over two weeks old that can be outside. The older hens (8-14 months) were EXTREMELY upset at first, some even attacking the hardware cloth between the two, but have since mellowed out (2 weeks in). Once the little ones at least have a fighting chance, I'll open up a small door on their coop so they can go out and have a safe place to run back into.

    Chickens are brutal and will kill transgressors, even if they are the same make/model. We had a one month old get out somehow, two legs and a spine, that was it.....
     
  4. NoStoChickylady

    NoStoChickylady New Egg

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    Mar 23, 2016
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    They are about 10 weeks old.. There's plenty of room in the coop it's an old barn we put a coop in half and there's a particion with almost another coop section where we store the hay and food and that's where I have the dog kennel with the chicks.. I've put some sticks in there so they an learn to roost and I let them out in the sun and dirt when I'm around but I have to keep an eye on the hens
     
  5. NoStoChickylady

    NoStoChickylady New Egg

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    Mar 23, 2016
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    Oh wow thank you so much! Ugh I thought this would go better than it is because my hens are so loving and sweet they are more like pets than anything else.. I guess it'll just take some time and I won't let those sweet babies out yet around the hens lol
     
  6. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    What I do is let them out each day, than stand there and play referee. The first few days can be minutes before I round them back up, after about a week it starts to be an hour and then it gradually lengthens, all flocks are different, some, especially if it's been done before don't even get bothered by new chicks, others will take a bit of time on your part. It always works out in the end and the first day is the worse, so keep trying until your older hens get used to them.
     
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