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Introducing 6 week chicks to 12 weeks chicks

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by happygirl264, Dec 4, 2010.

  1. happygirl264

    happygirl264 New Egg

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    Dec 4, 2010
    Stony Point, NC
    I am trying to introduce my 4 chickens together and have just found how scary it is. I have (2) 6 week olds and (2) 12 week olds. I have a small coop that will only hold max. 6 hens. So I dont have much room to do some of the ideas others have offered up. I would try to keep the 6 weeks old in the brooder longer but they are getting so BORED they needed to get outside and explore. I did not realize how stressful introduction is and I am terrified they will kill each other. The pecking on the back of the littles ones neck is normal? At what point does it become serious bullying? And at night if I put them in the roost togther does that not create a much more dangerous situation as the babies will not have anywhere to run.... AHHH need help!
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Some pecking is going to happen. When they draw blood is usually when people intervene. If you have no choice, you will just have to let them have at it. You may lose some. They really should be separated til all are the same size.

    You might have more luck introducing when they are free ranging and with a bunch of treats to distract them. This is the only way I've ever done it, and had no real problems, but then they were all the same size.
     
  3. happygirl264

    happygirl264 New Egg

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    Dec 4, 2010
    Stony Point, NC
    Thank you for the responce... Have you ever tried a night introduction? It is a sight to see such behavior, the older ones are so sweet too I can't believe the pecking on the babies! I guess that's why they call it "pecking order".
     
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    happygirl264,

    You may have another option since only four birds involved. Isolate the two larger birds from each other and the smaller for a day. Then reintroduce all at same time. Bigger birds will be distracted by own social problems from smaller and coalition big birds have now will be disrupted so smaller birds less likely to be targeted consistently for acts of aggression.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2010
  5. happygirl264

    happygirl264 New Egg

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    Dec 4, 2010
    Stony Point, NC
    Ohhhh I really like that idea! I think I may have to try that. Have you tried it with success??
     
  6. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Quote:Not recently with chickens. With fishes yes and it works reliably with many species. Social dynamics pretty similar to that of many fishes in respect pecking order and management for it. Most of what we practice with fishes I learned while raising chickens. Probability high of success with your situation.
     
  7. happygirl264

    happygirl264 New Egg

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    Dec 4, 2010
    Stony Point, NC
    I will give it a shot tomorrow! Thanks!
     

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