integrating new chicks to existing flock of chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by srfjeld, Jun 28, 2011.

  1. srfjeld

    srfjeld Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had 5 chicks until yesterday when one of my sweet girls passed at the vet after being sick and not eating all weekend. For some reason I felt the need to run out and get another chick... but you can't just get one so I got two. I wanted them a little closer in age to the girls I already have. My 2 oldest are about 9 weeks and the 2 youngest are about 6 weeks. The two that I purchased yesterday are about 5 or 6 weeks. One is definitely a Barnvelder and the other might be a Welsummer.

    It was suggested that rather than putting them in the brooder with the other girls I introduce them on neutral territory. So, I placed them all in the new run (that's thankfully almost finished). All of the little ones got along well. My two youngest never even noticed new chicks were around. The older girls, however, weren't having it and my feisty one, the SLW started pecking them on their heads and back. I stayed outside with them all for about an hour and then got out a dog kennel to put the two new girls in for the adjustment period. The way the other brooder is built (deep wooden box) the girls aren't able to see each other but my plan is to put them out in the run together (keeping the younger girls in the wire kennel) and allowing them to get used to one another.

    My questions are, how long does this transitional period last? Will my older girls welcome, or at least tolerate them eventually? What else can I be doing to move this along?

    Any and all advice is welcome here.

    Thank you. [​IMG]
     
  2. srfjeld

    srfjeld Chillin' With My Peeps

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    anyone know what's best?
     
  3. Sylvialarry

    Sylvialarry Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm having the same problem. I have three that are over a year old and one of them, Dixie who is about 4 yrs is extremely aggressive. She was in a huge fire and survived and was attached by a dog and lived. So needless to say she does not take anything that is dealt to her. I currently have four 12 wks old babies and tried to introduce them. Mind you there pens have been attached and they have been able to see each other for over two months. Yet when I tried to introduce them Dixie is so mean to them. The poor babies do not understand why they are being so mean. Betty does not try and hurt them. She lets them around her. Wilma is just like Dixie and is really mean too. I'm hoping from your post I'll know what to do as well. I really want to integrate them. It's hard to believe that they can be such bullies.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2011
  4. Nicole01

    Nicole01 Overrun With Chickens

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    It took me 3 weeks to fully integrate my two flocks. I used a wire dog kennel inside the coop and alternated the flocks when I wasn't supervising. I would spend 3-5 hours a day inside the coop supervising and intervening any pecking. After one week, I put both flicks on top of the dog kennel to sleep. Both flocks were on opposite sides going to bed and all mixed together when I woke them up. It's pitch black in the coop until I open the door to let them out. Finally after 3 weeks the older ones stopped chasing and pecking the babies. A couple days later, I caught my EE bullying my Mille Fleur, so I put my EE in the dog kennel alone for one week, especially at night. It changed her attitude. I finally took the dog kennel out today.

    Some people have no troubles at all. That wasn't the case for me. It was not easy, but they eventually got along. The big girls will still peck, but only if the babies get too close only when eating.
     
  5. micanopy-chick

    micanopy-chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    hi at 6 weeks of age the chicks start the pecking order thing and some ''fighting '' is likely i had that problem when i went from 2 hen to 8 hens my rooster was not the problem it was the other hens it ended up that i had to give the first 2 away but it was for the best



    now that i have been hatching eggs in the incubator i have 2 pens 1 is for laying hens and the 2nd is for my chicks as they hatch i hatched some on april 1st tso they are 3 monthes old they do not seem to mind when i put younger chicks in there pen but i start the lil guys in a cage in the pen for 3 weeks befor i turn them lose so i guess that seems to be the trick

    also i spend a lot of time every day in the pens with my chickens young and old just letting them know im around

    im weird i know lol:rolleyes:
     
  6. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    My Coop
    Most of the time I just put them together and let them work it out but If one is being exceptionally aggressive I remove the aggressive one for a few days while the other birds work out their pecking order. I had two hens that were bullies. I caught one hen really wailing away on one of the pullets. She was so intent on the pullet that she didn't know I was there. I had a hose in my hand and gave her a good squirt with the hose. She wasn't expecting it as she was really into beating up the pullet. Boy did she ever jump off when she got hit with the water. She ran into the coop and didn't come back out for a long time. I caught her a few more times and always had the hose handy and squirted her when she was being aggressive. She eventually quit bullying. Originally I did take them out of the flock for about a week. When I did put them back with the flock one was ok but the other was still being a real bully. That is when I used the hose and caught her off guard.
     
  7. Sylvialarry

    Sylvialarry Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks so much for your input. You guys are awesome!! I'll try the hose as well.
     
  8. hokankai

    hokankai Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm right there with ya. Just started integrating three one month old chicks to my other one month old chicks. For some reason the new ones are huge compared to the others. One was being super aggressive particularly with my mottled Cochin roo so i isolated her and will leave it that way for a week. One of the others is much bigger so she was picking on them too...but definitely not as bad once the aggressive chick was taken Out. The third chick was fine once the big one was removed.

    We'll see how it goes but I think I'm going to try adding them one at a time with maybe a week in between. Good luck!
     
  9. srfjeld

    srfjeld Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My plan to put them out in their run today went awry b/c it was cool and sprinkly out and the run is not yet enclosed. I was really hoping to give them time being near each other, even if the two new ones are in the dog kennel. So, they've been in the kennel all day and they are completely separated from the other girls. I don't have any other way to house them in here. I'm hoping for better weather tomorrow. Thank you for all of this useful information. I have thought about giving my SLW away before, but then we had some bonding time and I found she wasn't really bad. She's just skittish. It funny b/c she's the only one who was being so mean yesterday and when I got tired of watching it, I picked her up and held her for a good 10-15 min so they could eat. Well, then I noticed my next oldest started chasing after them. But, to be fair... I think it's b/c they were eating from her food dish. But at least she had a reason. I just thought it was interesting that when I took the top of the pecking order out of the game, it didn't take long for another one to step up. Crazy birds. [​IMG]
     
  10. EatMorSteak

    EatMorSteak Out Of The Brooder

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    It took me about 2 or 3 weeks to integrate mine. The 2 new chicks were scared to go into the coop because they were not familiar with it and my other 3 chicks struck fear in them. So I did the old switch a roo and put the 2 new chicks in the coop for a week and put the 3 older chicks in a separate cage at night. This allowed the 2 new chicks to get comfortable with being in the coop. During the day I put them all in the run so they are used to being around each other even though the older chicks chased the younger ones around. Then finally one evening I noticed they all went into the coop on their own. That's when I said halleluyah!!!!
     

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