Integration - tripling my current flock - issues

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Strodevalley, May 17, 2018.

  1. Strodevalley

    Strodevalley In the Brooder

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    May 17, 2018
    I know there are hundreds of posts about integrating which I've tried to wade through but I might need some specific help if possible...
    I have had 5 ex free-range commercial hybrid chickens since last august, housed at night in a coop that would take 6-8, and totally free range round ¼ acre farmyard after they lay in the morning. They are now about 2 yrs old.

    Five days ago I got another 10 from the same farm (4,000 birds to a barn sort of thing, where they have access to fields outside, but don’t seem to have used it much as most are very pale and feather-bare). I have converted a garden shed to accommodate them (and the old birds eventually) and fenced them in to an area outside it where they can scratch around in the day, while they get used to their new home.

    When I first put the new ones into the big house they were all quite shell-shocked, and the older girls followed me into the new run and investigated the new arrivals, heads raised, and clucking a bit, but no violence. I didn’t want to contain the old free-range birds whilst the new ones settled in, so after a while let the old ones out again and they put themselves to bed in their old run with full access to the yard they’ve been used to.

    Since then they have been investigating each other more, and there has been some battles through the netting… my feeling is the new batch have established their new order and are now ready to defend that quite ferociously! I'm regretting not just shutting them all up for a few days together…

    Grateful for any suggestions to how I integrate them now, as its time-consuming cleaning and sorting feed/water for 2 houses! Some forums suggest slipping the old ones in at night so they don’t notice, or having their runs along side each other, but one or 2 are already attacking through the fence....
     
  2. AudieWarren

    AudieWarren Songster

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    Free ranging in Ga
    I have had good luck with incorporating new members with current members. Mine free range during the day and head to the coop at night. For us, we put the new ones in the coop for a couple hours while the old ones are out. Then in the evening we let them all out to mingle. The old ones show the new ones the ropes. I know that's not always the case, but that's what works for us. I've never had to add just one. I think when you add a handful, it levels the playing field so they don't have a chance to single one out. The new ones will follow the old one to the safe coop.
     
    Strodevalley likes this.
  3. Strodevalley

    Strodevalley In the Brooder

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    May 17, 2018
     

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