Integration's not going so well.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by poppycat, Jul 21, 2007.

  1. poppycat

    poppycat Songster

    Jan 26, 2007
    We integrated our three 18 week old SLW's with our other four birds about a week ago. It was ok for the first few days but now the SLW's will not leave the coop to go into the run, not even for food or water. We ended up moving the food and water into the coop from the covered run so they wouldn't starve or die of dehydration.

    I just don't get it. They aren't being picked on too bad by the older girls (who come and go in the coop where the SLW's are holed up.)

    My DH is all set to build the SLW's their own condo next to our big coop. I don't really want to spend the $$ or time if it can be avoided. *deep sigh* These girls have really got me scratching my head.

    I'm thinking of putting my top two hens in the chicken tractor for a few days and see if that helps any. Any other ideas?????
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    It will take time but eventually they will get more intergrated. Chances are they will always be kind of low on the pecking order but it will just take more time. Give it a month or so. I've done it and some hens take a lot longer to intergrate. Mine free range and the new birds seem to only get to eat in the morning or at night, or when everyone else is free ranging. I have birds a few months to a few years old all together around the place and as long as nobody gets in anybodys way, they all do fine.
  3. JacobsRewardFarm

    JacobsRewardFarm In the Brooder

    Jun 29, 2007
    Parker, TX
    I have a bit of a similar situation. I started with two adult hens (BR and RIR) and slowly added 8 new chicks. They were 5 weeks old when I moved them to the coop, inside their own smaller pen, to get the feel for the big coop, and so the big girls could see and get used to the little girls. At about 8 weeks, I think, I turned the little girls out to free range and then come in at night with the big hens.

    Well, there are 3 roosting bars, over 9 feet of space, but the 2 big girls hog it all. The little girls were just piling into the 2 nest boxes like clowns into a volkswagen, for some place to sleep, but now they're too big to fit! It made me mad that the 2 older hens would not let the little girls on the roosts. I had to put a new roost bar up on the other side of the coop in a very awkward place, but otherwise, they wouldn't come into the coop at night - they stayed next door (in the next stall) with the donkeys and alpacas, roosting on the boards that separate the stalls. One girl even sits up in the rafters of the barn (only about 7 feet up).

    I hope one day they'll all get along. But the older hens definitely rule the roost, and the coop. There is usually peace out in the pasture while they all free-range together, thankfully.

    Good luck with your peeps,
    Cindy T.
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2007

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