Integration

CKfarm22

Songster
Jul 8, 2021
861
1,170
221
Central NJ
That's plenty long.
Pics of your set up might help us help you.
...and knowing the number and ages of birds involved.

Here's some ideas about.....
https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/integrating-new-birds-at-4-weeks-old.72603/

And some.....
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.
Good ideas for hiding places:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/a-cluttered-run.1323792/
I have three hens about 7 months old. My coop itself is 4x5 and the run is 12x5.
 

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rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
5 Years
Jul 3, 2016
18,238
37,079
1,062
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
My Coop
I want to try to integrate them as soon as i can and get them comfortable because we just got three more chicks that will need to be moved into the coop too but not for a couple more weeks.

I have three hens about 7 months old. My coop itself is 4x5 and the run is 12x5.
Do you routinely free range at all (i.e. most of the time, not 1 or 2 hours here and there)? Your run space is really going to be an issue with integration: it's narrow, overall small for number of birds including the even younger chicks you have, and completely bare of any clutter/obstacles which make a big difference in integration: https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/a-cluttered-run.1323792/

Even with free ranging you're going to be tight on coop space if you're adding in an additional 3 chicks. Are you working on enlarging the set up?
 

CKfarm22

Songster
Jul 8, 2021
861
1,170
221
Central NJ
Do you routinely free range at all (i.e. most of the time, not 1 or 2 hours here and there)? Your run space is really going to be an issue with integration: it's narrow, overall small for number of birds including the even younger chicks you have, and completely bare of any clutter/obstacles which make a big difference in integration: https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/a-cluttered-run.1323792/

Even with free ranging you're going to be tight on coop space if you're adding in an additional 3 chicks. Are you working on enlarging the set up?
We are building a new coop and run. And we aren’t sure if we’re keeping the new three babies anyway. 12x5=60 sq ft which is big enough for 4 birds considering the minimum is 10 sq ft per bird.
 

CalBickieMomma

Songster
Jul 27, 2019
973
1,825
246
San Luis Obispo County, CA
I tried this once about two weeks ago, kinda just letting them intermingle when i was out there and they older hens only pecked at the younger ones. (I had two 6 week old chicks now i only have one) because i went inside of the garage and i heard a loud squawk so i ran out and of the chicks was in the corner bleeding, unfortunately it passed away, but i don’t think it was from the bigger hens, i think it was flying around and hit its head on one of the support beams at the top of the run.. but ever since then i have been very very nervous to put the other one out with the bigger girls :/
Oh no! I’d totally be nervous, too. In all honesty, I probably take way more time and precautions when integrating the new Littles.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Nov 27, 2012
101,748
147,964
1,867
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop

CKfarm22

Songster
Jul 8, 2021
861
1,170
221
Central NJ
So update, today I let the older hens to free range in the yard and placed the chick inside the coop with the pop door open so she could walk into the run if she wanted. She stayed inside the coop the whole time.
 

ShweeB1229

Chirping
Sep 1, 2021
34
233
76
That's plenty long.
Pics of your set up might help us help you.
...and knowing the number and ages of birds involved.

Here's some ideas about.....
https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/integrating-new-birds-at-4-weeks-old.72603/

And some.....
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.
Good ideas for hiding places:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/a-cluttered-run.1323792/
I'm considering getting 2 or 3 more chickens next spring & had concerns regarding integration. This is incredibly helpful as now I can prepare beforehand. Thank you for this info & thanks @CKfarm22 for posing the question!
 

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