Integtation

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by csaylorchickens, Apr 25, 2016.

  1. csaylorchickens

    csaylorchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 4 faverolle hens and 6 buff orpington that are 7 weeks old or so.
    When should I put them with the if girls? What about layer feed verses chick starter?

    They have free ranged together and today I put them all in an enclosure together to see behaviors. I believe that they are ok. I was thinking 12 weeks old and I could switch over to chick starter nonmedicated of course for 4 weeks. Would that be ok? I'll keep food and water in 2 separate areas so there is t bullying for food. [​IMG]
     
  2. UniqueMeat

    UniqueMeat Out Of The Brooder

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    Unmedicated should be introduced a little later, maybe even now, since they have grown and have developed a stronger system.
    We put our chicks out after 12 weeks as well, and they did just fine. Its good to keep a good shady spot, some water dispensers, and plenty of food to reduce bullying or fighting. With hens it is common to see some attempt to dominate others, but its mostly when its fighting over food and water! So good job, you did the right thing by putting them in separate areas.


    Another thing you could do is purchase a longer feeder, so that there is room for all to stick their heads in. The holes are around the same size, and you shouldn't worry about larger feeders until they're much, much bigger.

    They're rather pretty! Good job raising them! <3
     
  3. csaylorchickens

    csaylorchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you

    The chicks are already eating unmedicated feed, I had left over unmed feed from a few months back so figured I'd use it. I bought some for my hen that was sick so she got more protein. I will probably stick with unmedicated feed from now on. I do have one long feeder that is plastic and then I have a couple milk jugs full of feed that I've cut a hole out of so they can eat it so I'll just put the milk jugs and several different places.
    Thank u!!
     
  4. csaylorchickens

    csaylorchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So when I introduce the chicks at 12 weeks old I will switch from layer feed for the whole flock to unmedicated Chick starter crumble and switch over back to layer feed once the young ones are around 16 weeks old?
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Your integration plans sound good.
    I hope that's just a growout coop for the chicks.


    I like to feed a flock raiser/grower/finisher 20% protein crumble to all ages and genders, as non-layers(chicks, males and molting birds) do not need the extra calcium that is in layer feed and chicks and molters can use the extra protein. Makes life much simpler to store and distribute one type of chow that everyone can eat. I do grind up the crumbles (in the blender) for the chicks for the first week or so.

    The higher protein crumble also offsets the 8% protein scratch grains and other kitchen/garden scraps I like to offer. I adjust the amounts of other feeds to get the protein levels desired with varying situations.

    Calcium should be available at all times for the layers, I use oyster shell mixed with rinsed, dried, crushed chicken egg shells in a separate container.

    Animal protein (mealworms, a little cheese - beware the salt content, meat scraps) is provided during molting and if I see any feather eating.
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Here's some notes I've taken on integration that I found to be very helpful.......
    ......take what applies or might help and ignore the rest.
    See if any of them, or the links provided at the bottom, might offer some tips that will assist you in your situation:

    Integration of new chickens into flock.


    Consider medical quarantine:
    BYC Medical Quarantine Article
    Poultry Biosecurity
    BYC 'medical quarantine' search

    It's about territory and resources(space/food/water). Existing birds will almost always attack new ones.
    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. Integrating new birds of equal size works best.

    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 blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down, 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 and/or up and away from any bully birds.

    In adjacent runs, spread scratch grains along the dividing mesh, best of mesh is just big enough for birds to stick their head thru, so they get used to eating together.

    Another option, if possible, is to put all birds in a new coop and run, this takes the territoriality issues away.

    For smaller chicks I used a large wire dog crate right in the coop for the smallers. I removed the crate door and put up a piece of wire fencing over the opening and bent up one corner just enough for the smallers to fit thru but the biggers could not. Feed and water inside the crate for the smallers. Make sure the smallers know how to get in and out of the crate opening before exposing them to the olders. this worked out great for me, by the time the crate was too small for the them to roost in there(about 3 weeks), they had pretty much integrated themselves to the olders. If you have too many smallers to fit in a crate you can partition off part of the coop with a wire wall and make the same openings for smallers escape.

    Best example ever of chick respite and doors by azygous https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1069595/introducing-chicks-to-adults#post_16276224


    Read up on integration..... BYC advanced search>titles only>integration
    This is good place to start reading:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/adding-to-your-flock
     
  7. csaylorchickens

    csaylorchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes just a grow out coop or sick chicken. Hospital [​IMG]
     
  8. csaylorchickens

    csaylorchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's the big coop 8 chickens max huge run too.
    I have oyster shell available
    OK I'll get that feed until the youngsters are 16 weeks
     
  9. UniqueMeat

    UniqueMeat Out Of The Brooder

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    A few good sources of what they need:
    Crush up egg shells with your hands or a tool until fully crushed and feed them that
    Buy fresh sunflower seeds, without flavoring or harmful preservatives and feed them


    A lack of protein and they'll pluck their own feathers off, leaving others to pluck them off too

    The milk jug idea was very creative, and seems like a good idea.
     
  10. csaylorchickens

    csaylorchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 8, 2015
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    I did not know that they would pluck from lack of protein, good to know. I also feed the big girls tuna once a week they go nuts for it lol their favorite treats are grapes blueberries and tuna
     

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