Integration!!!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by melonhead, Jun 4, 2012.

  1. melonhead

    melonhead In the Brooder

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    Apr 24, 2012
    Albany, NY
    So I have two groups of chickens...three BRs are about 4 months old (one is a rooster) and the other three EEs are 3 months old. The BRs have been living in the main coop and the babies have been in a mini aframe coop/run during the da, and then in a cat carrier inside the main coop at night. Every day they free range together in the yard for at least a couple hours and although they keep to their separate packs, they mostly do fine. There haven't been any major squabbles, but he BRs do chase the EEs if they get too close.

    Well, tonight during free range time, the babies went into he main coop and starting checking it out while there was still light. Then when it was getting dark, instead of heading back to their mini coop, they all filed into the big coop. The BRs hadn't come back yet and when they did, they sat in the run, looking p at the coop and squawking like crazy. Finally they went up.

    There was a TON of bawling and squawking and shuffling, but eventually they all seemed to calm down. I left the door open until it got dark and then I went back out. It was pretty still inside, so I shut them all in.

    I never in a million years expected this to happen on it's own. Im so excited that they took that step! But now my question is this...what now? Do I open the door at the normal time? Do I make a point of getting up early and letting them out before it's totally light? Do I keep them in the main run together tomorrow? ( I will be a work all day so won't be around to supervise). Or should I keep separating them during the day? I don't want to rush it but I also don't want to set them back a whole step when they are obviously making progress.

    I'm so glad I followed all the advice I read about being patient. Now I just hope this keeps up with no casualties!
     
  2. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Songster

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    Dec 15, 2011
    SE Pa.
    Maintain the routine you want to keep. If they haven't killed each other over night your good. And they should be alright in the coop and run during the day. Of course, when you get home look for any signs of trouble.
     
  3. City Chicken Lady

    City Chicken Lady Songster

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    Jul 11, 2011
    Mongomery AL
    I have all hens: five buff orps, two new hampshires, one americauna and four mixed breeds (RIR & americauna). They have all been in separate pens, chicken tractors, etc., especially the americauna since no one seems to like her.

    I have a new coop and bigger wire enclosure.I put the Americauna in the new enclosure first to see if that would establish her as being the homeowner. I put the buffs in later and they picked on her as usual. I left them together until almost sundown. I peeked in the coop and saw the americauna just standing there letting a buff hen peck the feathers on her neck, so I took the Americauna out and put her back in her original pen.

    Occasionally I have put the new hampshires and the mixed breeds next to each other and two of them fight through the fence like roosters. I'm not looking forward to putting all these hens together.

    Does anyone out there have any advice for putting all these hens together without terrible damage? At this point the only ones in the new coop are the buffs.

    P.S.
    The hens are all about a year to a year and a half old.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2012

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