Integration Idea's?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by foxypoproxy, Oct 22, 2011.

  1. foxypoproxy

    foxypoproxy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm alittle nervous about our integration.
    I have one 6 year old standard silver laced wyandotte that i have had since she was a chick.
    The rest of her sisters got killed by predators so i decided to finally get her some company because i can't imagine it being nice for a chicken to be all by themselves.

    I found a polish bantam cockerel near by my house that no one claimed, hes a sweetie pie.
    We have had him for about 2 or so months now maybe longer and we haven't been able to put him with our hen yet.
    They free ranged together alittle while supervised and it was ok but if he got to close she would puff up and give him a warning glare.
    I tryed to put them in the coop together but i think being in closer quarters made her more grumpy and anytime he is in close range to her she will grab his head and won't let go and we have to pull them apart.
    She doesn't chase him though. Hes a very docile cockerel and doesn't stick up for himself.

    So we thought it would be good if we got some other chickens (bantams) so we could integrate them all at once and he won't be a walking target.
    We got bantams 1. because i love love love bantams and 2. because i thought more chickens of the same size would be more likely to get along.

    I really always just wanted bantams because i find them easier to care for, but we have our standard because she was sold to us with her sisters as chicks, as "bantams" but ended up being standards.
    I will not cull her or sell her, that is out of the question. She is a very sweet old hen. I would like her to live out the rest of her days.

    So we got 1 bantam ameraucana, 2 Japanese bantams, and 2 silkies, all pullets.
    They all came from the same place, have been quarantined and get along well with each other.
    The ameraucana is about a year old and the others are under a year. The ameraucana babies the younger ones and will even put her wing over the Japanese bantams at night (they are about 4 months old).
    One of our japanese is getting over fowl pox so after she is better we were going to try and integrate them all together.

    Ive heard of people putting chickens in the coop at night as a good form of integration but i'm afraid i will wake up in the morning and find all the bantams dead or atleast the polish injuried.
    I know you arn't really suppose to have polish in a mixed flock. It wasn't really done on purpose, we found in sitting in the road near by and he almost got hit by a car.
    No one claimed him and we fell in love with the little guy....i honestly wish i could get more polish but i don't want to risk them all get picked on.
    I'm hoping everything goes ok with are polish so we could get more.

    Ive had a mix flock of bantams and standard before but my standard hen/hens in the past were friendly and never really attacked the bantams.
    I'm scared we won't have as much luck this time.

    So i was thinking of letting them in the run together and supervising.
    Then at night putting them in a wire cage in the coop so they get use to being in there without getting pecked to death.
    Then eventually when they are use to each other just letting them all roost together in the coop at night.
    I don't know, what do you guys think?

    Maybe i'm overreacting because ive just scared myself by reading to many stories on here.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2011
  2. foxypoproxy

    foxypoproxy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Any other integration idea's?
     
  3. hoog

    hoog Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have a large variety of standard birds. I have 5-6 month old buff orpingtons, cochins, barred rock, and leghorn hens and roos. I also have some two month old Rhode Island reds, New Hampshires, cochin, and polish hens and roos. All are standard and many were intergraded at different ages and sizes. In my experience after they establish a pecking order then they all get along pretty well.

    I just put the newbies in the coop at night, lock it up, and then unlock it in the morning before they wake up.

    One thing I know helps is that my chickens have a quarter acre to graze from during the day.

    *Also I know some people trim the polish “hair do” so that the bird is less likely to be picked on.
     
  4. foxypoproxy

    foxypoproxy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I do trim my polishes crest, he has a very full crest though so i'm not sure how much it really helps.
    Normally i would put them in at night but i'm alittle hesitant because they bantams are alot smaller then our grumpy standard hen.
    I would feel horrible opening the door in the morning and finding a murder scene.
    maybe i'll put them in a cage in the coop at night so they can see each other without doing damage.
    Have them all together in the run during the day, and eventually transition them too the roosts in the coop at night, when they are all use to each other...
     
  5. hoog

    hoog Chillin' With My Peeps

    My chickens are like deaf and blind zombies at night. If you put the chickens in after dark and let them out before daylight I don't think you'll have an issue. But if you want to be extra safe go with the cage inside the coop and see what happens. Let us know how it turns out.

    Also my neighbor’s bantams are really feisty tough little birds.
     
  6. kari_dawn

    kari_dawn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    putting them in a cage in the coop like you suggest ought to work. Its what I do when I introduce new babies to the big girls for the first time. For about the first week to two weeks, depending on how things go, they stay in a cage inside the coop. It helps them learn where home is, and teaches the big girls to accept them. It has always worked well for me.

    I don't even let them out to free range durring the integration process. This ensures no injuries.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2011
  7. foxypoproxy

    foxypoproxy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Ok, i think i will try the cage in the coop thing at night.
    They have been in quarantine for a while though, so i think they would really appreciate the run.
    so i will have them out with the others, but with supervision so no one gets hurt.

    Thank you
     
  8. darkmatter

    darkmatter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:This is what I've been doing for years with the chicks/keets I hatch in my incubator. I made my introduction cage out of an old ferret cage left on the side of the road with a "free" sign on it. I repurposed it into my intro cage:

    [​IMG]
     
  9. mstricer

    mstricer Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:This is what I've been doing for years with the chicks/keets I hatch in my incubator. I made my introduction cage out of an old ferret cage left on the side of the road with a "free" sign on it. I repurposed it into my intro cage:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/uploads/36435_introcage.jpg

    I do the same thing, when everyone goes free ranging the babies go out in the coop to play. No one hurts anyone. If your hen is being nasty, its because shes letting them know she is at the top of the pecking order, I would let them be, if they free range together, should be able to sleep together, maybe put him in there after dark then they wake up together and it will be like the norm.
     

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