Integration management plan. Would this work?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by fiddlebanshee, Jul 31, 2013.

  1. fiddlebanshee

    fiddlebanshee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok here goes. I have three groups of chickens.

    One group of 16 are 1.5 and 2 yo olds that have been together for 1.5 years and are doing fine. They have a coop and free range on a fenced in 1/2 acre.

    The second group of 14 ameraucanas and anconas is now 11 weeks old. They are in their own separate coop and run. I have at least 7 boys in there that I want to separate into their own bachelor's pad. The idea would be that the boys stay in their coop and run (not freeranging), and that the 7 girls would free range on the same 1/2 acre as the oldest hens and go back to their own enclosure and coop, so I figured I'd keep them locked in there for at least 4 weeks or so to imprint home on them.

    The third group is 4 weeks old. They are still in the brooder. I want to integrate them with the second group. This group consists of 8 welsumer girls and 8 black copper marans (unsexed so that may be another 4 roos). The plan is to move this group into the girls coop of the second group when they are about 8 weeks old (and the second group is 16 weeks). I would cordon off a section on the floor of the coop to keep the younger ones and let the other girls out during the day to free range. After about two weeks I would open up the section and let them have a go at integrating. At that point I hope I'll have an idea who of the BCMs are boys and I would move those to the boy's coop. So I'd have 19 girls in the girl coop and 11 boys in the boys coop. The boys will be either rehomed or harvested in the fall, perhaps I'll keep one for our own use if I can find one that is well-tempered to us and to the hens.

    Questions:
    1. I figure that if I have 12 younger chickens and 7 that are 8 weeks older, that because the younger group is slightly bigger than the older group that integration would not pose much of a problem. Is this a correct assumption?

    2. Will the 11 boys fight each other to the death if they're all together in one coop and run? They'd be able to see and hear the hens but not have access to them. Will integrating the 4 BCM boys (or however many there will be) with the 7 older boys be a problem? I could do the same (keeping them in a separate section of the coop for a couple of weeks) as I would do in the girls coop. Or should I get rid of the 11 boys before I separate the 4 BCMs?

    I have only once integrated two groups of chickens and that worked well but the situation wasn't quite as complicated as this. I appreciate any advice that you may have to let this happen relatively peacefully.
     
  2. MaggieR

    MaggieR New Egg

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    May 15, 2013
    Did anyone give you any kind of reply? I'm trying to integrate 3 groups too, without a blood bath. If you've found any tips please let me know?
     
  3. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    SE Pa.
    The plan is basically sound. The hens and the pullets should share the range without a too many skirmishes. When you leave the youngest mingle remember to provide things to break the line of sight and have the ability to get away. The seven cockerels should be alright together as they were raised together. The cockerels, I think I keep would the two age groups separate if I could.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2013

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