Integrating the little ones

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Pertica, Jul 3, 2011.

  1. Pertica

    Pertica New Egg

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    Apr 8, 2011
    My 6 chicks (barred rocks and Rhode Island reds) are 11 weeks old and are living side by side (a fence in between) with the big girls, 2 white leghorns. They mingle every day without too much difficulty (although the little ones run when they see the big girls approaching. When the big ones go out to forage, the little ones run into the coop and spend a lot of time there. The little ones have a dog crate in their part of the yard for shelter, but I would like to persuade them to spend nights in the coop. Instead, they want to sleep on the roof of the crate, and every night I put them into the crate because I think they are safer there even though the yard is fenced with hardware cloth. They are outgrowing the crate, though, and object to being put in it. As they become more comfortable with the big hens, will they just naturally gravitate to the coop at night? And should I stop micro-managing them?

    I've learned a lot on this forum from all of you experienced chicken-lovers. Thanks.
     
  2. Enslaved-by-Ducks

    Enslaved-by-Ducks Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 22, 2011
    The longer you wait to integrate, the chances of the adults rejecting the new chicks. They are old enough to integrate.
    Just get rid of the crate and put them all together in one coop. They will settle down in a few days. There has to be a pecking order established so every hen has a place...there will be some bickering at first but it's natural. this has to happen........you need to just let them figure out that they all have to share a coop. I wouldn't let them sleep in that small crate very much longer.
     
  3. Pertica

    Pertica New Egg

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    Apr 8, 2011
    Thanks, Enslaved-By-Ducks. The day I read your advice I put six protesting little chicks into the coop after dark. The big girls were on the upper roost, and I put the little ones on the lower roost, where they stayed all night. The next night they went into the coop on their own, pushed the big hens to the far ends of the upper roost, and settled themselves between them. All so easy! Great advice!
     

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