Integration question


Mar 12, 2018
Perth Australia
I have 5 -4 week olds of which i think 2-3 are pullets, they are currently in the backyard with brooderbox and chicken tractor as run.
then i have 2 older pullets bought seperately which are in the main coop /run front yard they are 3-4 month old

as unfortunately only 2 chicks worked out girls, i will end up with at least 4, would like to have 5-6 though..

A: get 1-2 laying hens now and introduce to the pullets- then the 2 small chicks in a few weeks time through a divided fence in the run then eventually put together
B: introduce the whole flock of little ones now/ though divided run for a week or so then put together.. (in a few weeks remove the cockerals to take back to breeder (we are not allowed them) then later on add a laying hen or 2
C: leave it with the 4 girls until someone gets broody eventually then let them raise chicks and keep some?
any other suggestions?


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its 1500mmx1200mm floor space so 1.8sm.. so in feet thats the recommended 2.5 per 5 chickens.. they are out all day, and only sleep in coop at night. we are in Perth australia so there is really only about 2 month of rainy weather a year :)) but yes i think you are right aart. i think i'm just eager for eggs so thought one that is actually laying already would be nice to have :))
General space minimum here is 4sqft per bird in coop.
1.8sqm is 19.3sqft, with 5 birds is 3.8sqft per bird, with 4 birds is 4.85sqft per bird.

I'd start integrating the 4wo chicks now, the older birds may be less threatened by smaller chicks. Maybe put the brooder box/run right in the main run for a week, then open a 'door' big enough for chicks but too small for older pullets. Here's how I do that:

Some other tips....
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:
Yes actually just read that article yesterday and thought it was a great idea. I was going to wait one more week till I can hopefully decide the o the 3rd chick which is on the fence..
I will seperate run and but up the broiderbox..
Will also add hiding spots as I do have a bare run ATM..
Thanks for the answers and time taken to post..
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