Integration questions...

vantain

Songster
Sep 2, 2018
701
1,289
188
Southern Minnesota
I have eight 5 1/2 year old chicks. They are in a coop with two 2 year old hens, but they are separated by chicken wire. The new chicks have a run alongside the big girls, but under supervision, I do have an opening to allow the chicks to wander into the bigger girls run. They get pecked a bit and chased out, but otherwise, it hasn't appeared to be violent.

The issue at hand is this...I have one blind...or at least mostly blind chick that cannot see well, if at all. I'm afraid of her getting into the larger run, and having no way to see danger approaching (the other hens), and responding properly to get away. More so, I'm concerned about integration of the flocks in general. Right now it's mostly the see but no touch approach, with some supervised direct interaction. But for harmony, I'd like to get to the point of allowing them all to intermingle together eventually.

Any ideas on what I should do with the blind one? She gets along just fine with her 7 flock mates. Oh, and one is a cockerel, and we are going to try keeping him. He seems to spend a lot of time with our blind chick. I am kind of hoping that he will end up protecting her as they get older and more mature.
 

50-45-1

Free Ranging
Premium Feather Member
13 Years
Feb 25, 2008
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Northern Michigan (tip of the little finger area)
My Coop
My Coop
The key to integration is space. The more room and distractions, the easier the integration.
How much room do you have for all the birds together.
Adding "stuff" in the run will help. Things like crates, branches, things to scratch thru and peck at. The clutter will create areas for younger birds to escape and hide.
I hate to tell you that your cockrel will likely take advantage of your blind girls disability when his hormones kick in and become abusive to her.
 

vantain

Songster
Sep 2, 2018
701
1,289
188
Southern Minnesota
The key to integration is space. The more room and distractions, the easier the integration.
How much room do you have for all the birds together.
Adding "stuff" in the run will help. Things like crates, branches, things to scratch thru and peck at. The clutter will create areas for younger birds to escape and hide.
I hate to tell you that your cockrel will likely take advantage of your blind girls disability when his hormones kick in and become abusive to her.
Combined, both runs would equal about 176 sq ft. I’m also going to be adding another 64 sq ft soon. Coop itself is 48 sq ft.
 

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