Intergrating mixed age/sex flock !

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by John Chicken GB, Aug 14, 2011.

  1. John Chicken GB

    John Chicken GB Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 20, 2011
    Great Britain
    Ok , Sit back whilst I explain my set up . I inherited 1 cockerel and 1 hen , both quite old 5 or 6 yrs I believe . They arrived with a rabbit hutch , which was a bit cramped , too low for him too crow without scratching his comb on the wire ,. So I thought , time to expand. My daughter and I converted an old redundant trailer and utilised some plastic piping to make a hooped ark/ run ! The rabbit hutch now, although too small for grown up chooks , looked ideal for chicks . I borrowed an incubator and started hatching : not one but four broods , transfering the chicks from heated brooder inside, to the rabbit hutch outside , and then when the next hatch is ready go to the next stage of the larger pen that I aquired . When the time comes for turning out the youngsters into the large pen , that I have had to build , cos of the numbers ; so far all has gone well . The old pair are King and Queen , pretty laid back , so no problem there (yet ) . The youngsters seemed ok to start with but now seem to be picking on the youngest batch ; who are now hiding in their nursery pen . They sleep in their nursery pens at night and in the morning I lift the end of the pen up on to a bucket so all have a free run of the main pen . Plenty of room for all (36ft x 24ft ) they can escape back into their own safe place if things get tough ! The chicks have become teenagers and the younger ones have become more adventurous and up until today all has gone calmley ; but overnight the teenagers have become adolessant , and are bullying the younger ones . Easy to stop that , I tucked the rebels back into their pen/run . Sorted ?? When should I try to reintergrate them ? Two weeks maybe ?? Or should I let them sort it out now before the Roos get too mature and want to battle it out with each other ? In total there are 2 oldies that I mentioned , 3 @ eight weeks . 8 @ 5 weeks , !16 will be ready to turnout in three weeks and another 60 in the incubator ready to hatch in two weeks . I dont have a very high hatch rate , for reasons unknown (poor fertility /rough postal system) so I expect perhaps 20 more hatchlings if I'm lucky ,out of the 60 ! In total , that should be 49 chooks , half of these will be Roos (for the pot !) so the flock will be a ( I'm hoping ) 25 hens with 4 or 5 of the best Roos' , all living happily together in the same large pen and sleeping in the one coop , which I have yet to build . I plan it to be 8ft x 4ft and 6ft high , with two compartments and two small pop-holes in the partition , accessable by all , but an escape route if needed by a chook who might be getting a hard time ! Am I expecting too much for this set up to work ? Are the dimensions sufficient for the numbers ? Love to all of you chickeny folk x____ great website this EH ?
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2011
  2. John Chicken GB

    John Chicken GB Out Of The Brooder

    64
    0
    39
    Jul 20, 2011
    Great Britain
    When does the yelloe Icon show up on the recent posts list ??? lol
     
  3. 7&8

    7&8 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 29, 2010
    Maine
    Hello, GB! Have you looked at the BYC thread on coop and run design & construction? Lots of photos and info on this thread. As far as integrating, I like to add birds at night, placing the new comers on the roost bar.

    Glad you survived your career! [​IMG] You sound like you are enjoying your retirement! [​IMG]

    Hope your building project goes well, and that you find all of the info that you need.
     

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