Integration question...

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Chicky Joy, Jan 25, 2010.

  1. Chicky Joy

    Chicky Joy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have 12 adult hens and 26 chicks that are 11 weeks old. Some of them are rather small some of huge for their age. If we put all of the fair size young chickens in the big coop will they be picked on less if there are more of them than the big hens? We've been through this process once before but had almost an equal number of older hens and new birds. We haven't yet decided about when we will be putting the babies in with the adults but we might start with the bigger chicks next weekend or so.
     
  2. cap1717

    cap1717 6 chooks, 1 slave. . . me!

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    Quote:It is always better to keep them seperated, but next to each other, within sight of each other,if possible, so that they become accepted as part of the flock before the older hens can damage them. I have had this process last as little as 3 or 4 days, in some cases, although usually it takes longer.
     
  3. sherrydeanne

    sherrydeanne Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'd get them used to each other by blocking off, but then put ALL 26 in with the older girls. It'll give the smaller ones plenty of room to run away and hide amongst themselves. I wouldn't save, say, the 5 smallest and try to integrate them into 33 later.
     
  4. cobrien

    cobrien Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree 100% with the other posts and would add that if the introduction can take place while free ranging, it might go more smoothly. Good luck.
     
  5. chookchick

    chookchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you put them all in together (sounds best), one thing you could do is either put in a large container, or section off an area with wire, then make a doorway to this area just big enough for the young ones. Give them their own feed and water in this area, and they will be able to "get away" from those nasty big chickens.
     
  6. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

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    I don't integrate until they are at least 16 weeks.
     
  7. Chicky Joy

    Chicky Joy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:That's a good idea. It would be easier than completely sectioning the coop. Odds are we'll just wait a while and then put them all in together and let them figure it out.
     
  8. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Have you considered erecting a "panic room" in the pen when you do merge the little ones with the big ones?

    After about three weeks of getting familiar with one another through a pen partition, I cut a small door into the partition that was just large enough for the youngsters to fit through. Their food and water remained in their original side of the pen. When a big girl decided to bully a youngster, the little one could race through the panic hatch and be safe. But they all got used to being together and the youngsters loved being able to come and go between the two sections. I still refer to that side of the pen as the pediatric wing even though it's open now.

    By the time the youngsters were too big to fit through the panic hatch, everyone was fending just fine for themselves.

    With my previous batch of youngsters, I rigged up a panic room in the corner of the pen with a couple of small entrances. It didn't take them long to figure out that they were safe from bullying by running into it. It was just three feet by four feet, and once a large girl got herself stuck to the shoulders trying to gobble the chick starter and I had to pry her loose - pretty funny! But the panic room is something I'll always incorporate when merging a new batch.
     

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