Integrating tips!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Chicken_newbe, Apr 5, 2018.

  1. Chicken_newbe

    Chicken_newbe Chirping

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    I'd love some advice on integrating. Here's what I have going on so far.
    *long post alert*
    Originally I bought 8 chicks, was told they were pullets, end up having ONE pullet and 7 Roos. Kept our girl and one Roo. They are inseparable! Both 6.5 months old and our hen just started laying two days ago.
    We of course got more chicks and now have 10 pullets (well maybe a roo in there but 10 or so) .
    These 10 are 2 months old.
    I moved their brooder inside the coop, has a lid, so the 10 can see my older two. It's been almost a week. The 10 go in a fenced area during the day and Hen and Roo free range. Yesterday I decided to let them all be together free ranging , and yeah did not go so well. My sweet Roo was fine with them but my Hen was pecking everyone's head if they got close ☹️.
    any advice appreciated! I was hoping to take the brooder out this weekend and let them all be in the coop together but I'm worried I'll come out to a dead pullet.
     
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  2. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams

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  3. meetthebubus

    meetthebubus Crowing

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    I was just reading an article on this from this forum, byc. I have 19 newbies to integrate with 7, 2 yr olds. I suggest keeping the little ones fenced in where the big ones can see them, after several weeks they will forget that they were ever alone. When the little ones are about the same size they can deal with any pecking order- pecking, and if she is still mean you can jail her for a few days.

    my opinion is not to use a water gun in this situation. It is stressful for them and this situation is stressful enough. I used water gun to stop 2 roosters from hurting each other only bc it was a war between them.
    Remember that doing any water guns or pointing sticks at them will most likely make them wary of You.

    I currently have them fenced off in the same run, they are used to each other at first my big ones were scared of them, then they pecked at them a bit through the fence but the holes are so small it didn't do anything, and that was only when the chick's got too close bc they were curious. Now they ignore them or sit next to the fence and so I think when they are bigger it should go fine then.
     
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  4. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida

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    I actually like the water gun training. You don’t even have to really be staring at them to use it....and they don’t have to see the water gun to feel the water hit. They don’t associate it with you....they don’t really see you do it. All they do know is every time they do certain things, that blast of water hits them. The lessons that stay with animals best are those they teach themselves. I used water guns very successfully training my show and hunting dogs, and taught the folks in my dog obedience classses to use them. I rarely used negative reinforcement but when I did I made sure that it was the surprise, not discomfort or pain, that got their attention and instantly distracted them from continuing the unwanted behavior. By not saying a word when I pulled that trigger, they didn’t associate me with the water blast so I was never the “bad guy”. They had to trust me 100%, so in their brain I was the gentle, kind one. Yep, I like the water gun training and I’ve used it my chickens too.
     
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  5. Chicken_newbe

    Chicken_newbe Chirping

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    Thank you for the replys!!!
     
  6. meetthebubus

    meetthebubus Crowing

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    Well, this post isnt a debate in water training
    Besides when a chicken doesn't see where it's coming from? Don't believe it, sorry, birds eye view

    @Chicken_newbe
    Chickens, when something goes wrong in their world, they blame you even when you had nothing to do with it, flocks often tend to get shy around their owner when something is going on
    Whatever you choose I hope it goes well for you remember chickens are smarter than a lot of people give them credit for :D
     
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  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    I've found brooding in coop from about 1 week and integrating at about 4 weeks to be the best and easiest, takes some set up tho.
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/integrating-new-birds-at-4-weeks-old.72603/

    These things still apply....
    Integration Basics:
    It's all about territory and resources(space/food/water).
    Existing birds will almost always attack new ones to defend their resources.
    Understanding chicken behaviors is essential to integrating new birds into your flock.

    Confine new birds within sight but physically segregated from older/existing birds for several weeks, so they can see and get used to each other but not physically interact.

    In adjacent runs, spread scratch grains along the dividing mesh, best if mesh is just big enough for birds to stick their head thru, so they get used to eating together.

    The more space, the better.
    Birds will peck to establish dominance, the pecked bird needs space to get away. As long as there's no copious blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down and beaten unmercilessly, let them work it out. Every time you interfere or remove new birds, they'll have to start the pecking order thing all over again.

    Multiple feed/water stations. Dominance issues are most often carried out over sustenance, more stations lessens the frequency of that issue.

    Places for the new birds to hide 'out of line of sight'(but not a dead end trap) and/or up and away from any bully birds. Roosts, pallets or boards leaned up against walls or up on concrete blocks, old chairs tables, branches, logs, stumps out in the run can really help. Lots of diversion and places to 'hide' instead of bare wide open run.

    This used to be a better search, new format has reduced it's efficacy, but still:
    Read up on integration..... BYC advanced search>titles only>integration
    This is good place to start reading, BUT some info is outdated IMO:
    http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/adding-to-your-flock
     
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  8. meetthebubus

    meetthebubus Crowing

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    Good advice!
     
  9. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida

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    Well, since I have partial integration at 3 weeks and total integration by the time chicks are 4 weeks old, with the brooder pen completely removed, I have nothing else to offer.
     
  10. lotsofloveforchickens

    lotsofloveforchickens Chirping

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    a water gun really works!! I wish I knew that long ago, I will be trying this soon for I'm about to add 3 hens to 8 others.
     
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