Integration advice, 8.5 and 4.5 week olds

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by ScottyGill, Sep 17, 2019.

  1. hi I hijacked another convo and have been reading lots but just wanted to ask about my specific situation.

    My husband thought it would be great to incubate chickens, we certainly got the kinds he wanted, and I am happy we started in the biggest learning curve since childbirth :lau

    But we didn't really expect (because we hadn't found this forum) only 3 out of 12 eggs. So I weighed up pros and cons and also it was like oh man that was awesome let's do it again, after the drama of hatching was over, we got more eggs, same result.

    So at present our older 3 took to outdoor life at 5 weeks old like pros. We have a CCL cockerel, a pullet and CCL/BCM pullet. Our new babies are 2 Blue French copper Marans and a black one who Is confusing with a red comb and girl markings. We will wait and see.

    We have had horrendous weather, high winds, torrential rains so we didn't get the babies outside as quick as before. We have had a small crate next to the pen for the last few days and today we put them in part of the big pen my husband cordoned off and made a separate door for. Current situation is the big ones come and look, the little ones looked back but now they don't bother, they ignore the big ones. Just carry in sunbathing, pecking whatever. To me that seems like they don't feel threatened. We are setting up a cluttered coop situation with lots of hidey places. I don't want to rush this, but I don't want to do it longer than necessary, especially as we have a spell of great weather coming and I'd love to have them all out together.

    Any advice on what are the signs it would be safe to let them mingle supervised, my older ones today looked for a minute or two at first and then have literally ignored them all day. I took a video on of them relaxing while the wee cockerel had a look. They didn't look bothered at all!
     
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  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

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    How old are the two groups, I'm looking for age difference. That's mainly just curiosity, my answer will be the same whatever you say.

    Give them a week of see-but-don't-touch. Then try it when you can observe. When I do this I just open it up and let them work it at their own pace. Cluttering it is good. Have separate feeding and watering stations. Don't worry about where they sleep as long as it is not the nests and is predator-safe. Pay attention and judge what you do by what you see.

    Good luck!
     
  3. In my title. 8.5 weeks and 4.5 weeks. 4 weeks, they're all still quite young.
     
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  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

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    Yeah, I missed it. Plenty old enough.
     
  5. Old enough to safely integrate. I'd really like them out of my living room. Not my husband s best idea. So this Saturday will be a whole week of look no touch during the day. I'll maybe be back depending on how that goes! We didn't anticipate turfing the others ones out so quickly but they just logged their coop and it was all so easy. I appreciate you replying to me
     
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  6. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Free Ranging

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    Outside is best, as soon as possible. I set them up in a one way gate, but I don't know if you will have enough size difference to do that.

    One of the best things, is to swap places with both flocks. Put the big girls out of their coop/run, and let the littles in there to explore and get the hang of it without being chased. If you have hideouts set up, after they have been in there several hours, you go out and give some mock chases. So they figure out the hideouts.

    Then swap them back, do a couple of times, and then I like letting the bigs back in near dark, and getting down there early in the morning.

    Truthfully, if they are ignoring them, you are most of the way there. When you do put them together, sit down there with a squirt gun, you can break up a fight pretty easy without getting into it. They won't think you are part of it.

    Hide outs and multiple feed stations

    good luck
    Mrs K
     
  7. That's good news. The squirt gun is a good idea. And the hideouts. I'll be interested to see how the older ones react to that! But we can lure them into the smaller pen I'm sure.
     
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  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    My Coop
    Multiple feed and waterers around too.
    Do you have two coops attached to the two pens?
    .....or will they need to share a coop?
    Pics of coop, inside and out, might garner more suggestions.

    ETA...keep the black Marans cockerel and put him over the CCLs for sexlinked Olive Egger chicks.
     
  9. We have a mini coop my husband made for them today which they are learning to wander in and out off. The other coop in the main run is plenty big enough eventually and have no worries about it, my only question was what are the signs it’s ok to try integration. My particular query was they seem zero bothered about the presence of the big ones right next to them. And the others are interested then wander off.

    Would you explain what a sex linked means. I have one already she’s a cross between a CCL/BCM. Will her chicks be recognisable as male female?
     

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  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Go for it..here's some tips about....
    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.



    If you put a non-barred male(your BCM) over a barred female(your CCL) the male chicks will have white head spots and the females will not.
    I assumed you had a pure CCL pullet from this:
     
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