1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    Not a member yet? join BYC here & then introduce yourself in our community forum here.

Integration Issues?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by awizkey, Aug 18, 2018.

  1. awizkey

    awizkey In the Brooder

    45
    23
    44
    Apr 22, 2017
    Northeastern Ohio
    Today I put my (6) 18 week old ee in with my 3 white leghorns (1 roo) and 4 Rhode Island Reds. They are about the same size. As part of the process, I put the small coop right beside the adult's run. They have been there for a couple months (see but no touch). I put some scratch treats and hay into the run prior to integration. My roo was awful. I took him out and put him into the little coop by himself because he was just downright being nasty. My hens are not behaving much better, but really only attack when one gets close to them. I am questioning if I made the transition correctly. I read hiding places? Maybe a board leaned up against the run fence? Ahh I don't know if I made the right decision.
     
    ChooksNQuilts likes this.
  2. awizkey

    awizkey In the Brooder

    45
    23
    44
    Apr 22, 2017
    Northeastern Ohio
    Are these behaviors "normal?" I expected some pecking, but not this much harassment.
     
  3. ChooksNQuilts

    ChooksNQuilts Crowing

    1,391
    2,484
    437
    Nov 26, 2017
    Southwest Idaho
    When you wait til they’re that old the other chickens see them as competition.
    A lot of people will tell you not to integrate until the younger ones are the same size but it can backfire.
    When you integrate younger birds that are still a lot smaller they don’t see them as serious competition for resources.
    There’s always going to be pecking and some chasing. You have to let them work it out.
    Serious bullying will involve shedding blood.
    If there’s no significant wounds then you shouldn’t have to intervene other than providing multiple hiding spots and multiple water/feeders.
    It’s all about resources.
    Food, water, treats, etc.
    Yes hiding places are very helpful.
    A board leaning against a wall or fence is a good one.
    Also you want multiple food & water stations placed some distance from each other.
    That way the older birds can’t guard all of them.
     
    Fluffy&Cutie, aart and rosemarythyme like this.
  4. awizkey

    awizkey In the Brooder

    45
    23
    44
    Apr 22, 2017
    Northeastern Ohio
    Thank you. I have not seen blood yet, so I guess that's good. I will put more food/water out and have since leaned a piece of plywood inside the run and will probably add more. I will be expanding the run as soon as the fencing arrives (Tues). My current run is about 15X9 and will be putting another roughly 7X5 on the other side of the coop.
     
    snow5164 and ChooksNQuilts like this.
  5. awizkey

    awizkey In the Brooder

    45
    23
    44
    Apr 22, 2017
    Northeastern Ohio
    What do I do about my rooster? Should I wait until the hens sort things out then put him back in? Or put him back in now? Or keep him out?
     
  6. awizkey

    awizkey In the Brooder

    45
    23
    44
    Apr 22, 2017
    Northeastern Ohio
    Also, I have a 6X8 coop (shed). Is that large enough?
     
  7. ChooksNQuilts

    ChooksNQuilts Crowing

    1,391
    2,484
    437
    Nov 26, 2017
    Southwest Idaho
    What was he doing exactly?
    Are all the new birds females?
    Was he drawing blood or just relentlessly chasing?
    How long has he been separated so far?
     
    aart likes this.
  8. awizkey

    awizkey In the Brooder

    45
    23
    44
    Apr 22, 2017
    Northeastern Ohio
    I separated him after about 10 minutes because he was posturing and going after them with his spurs. They are all females.
     
  9. awizkey

    awizkey In the Brooder

    45
    23
    44
    Apr 22, 2017
    Northeastern Ohio
    Relentlessly going after them. The hens aren't much better though.
     
  10. ChooksNQuilts

    ChooksNQuilts Crowing

    1,391
    2,484
    437
    Nov 26, 2017
    Southwest Idaho
    Do you free range?
    the going consensus seems to be a minimum of 4 square feet per bird in the coop and 10 square feet per bird in the run.
    You should have just enough space.
    I wouldn’t add any more birds without expanding the coop itself.
    Also, when integrating new birds having extra space is going to help.
    Another consideration is roost space.
    You want about 12” of roost space per bird.
    So you’re going to want more than 13 feet of roost for them.
    It doesn’t have to all be on one roost.
    You could have 3 five foot roosts at different heights.
    The lower ranking birds are going to want to be able to roost away from the dominant ones.
    They will peck them!
    Usually the more dominant birds will use the higher roosts and the lower ranking ones are closer to the ground.
    Just today we added extra roosts to our coop to make it easier for our bantams to get away from the bigger birds.
    For some reason when they all go to bed can be the most stressful time until it gets dark and they settle down.
     
    aart likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: