Introducing Chickens to each other

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by christier, Jun 9, 2016.

  1. christier

    christier Out Of The Brooder

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    I have 13 lovelies about 4 weeks old and I am getting ready to introduce them to my 2 remaining hens that are 5 years old -
    I would love any advice on the best way to do that. I am guessing I cant sneak 13 in in the middle of the night - HA!
     
  2. Yorkshire Coop

    Yorkshire Coop Moderator Staff Member

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  3. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    You could also lock up your two remaining hens for a period of time and then once the new chicks are established in your coop you can introduce the old birds again. Its all about pecking order. Seeing each other but not being able to touch..
    Takes time, sometimes lots of time.?
     
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  4. dekel18042

    dekel18042 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Four weeks might be a little young for an introduction. It's better to wait until the young ones are over making their baby noises. Usually I have the younger ones in a coop and run right next door to the main coop and runs.
    I put the babies there at four weeks so they can all see each other. The adult birds are out of their runs free ranging every day. Depending, at eight or nine weeks I start letting the younger birds out to free range too when I can be home and observe. With all that space there may be some chasing but that is about it. After a while they wind up going into each other's coop and runs and helping themselves to which ever feeder they want without too many problems.
    When the weather gets cooler I combine them in the largest coop if they haven't done it themselves already.
    If there are extra cockerels they may wind up staying in the smaller coop if there are more than I want to transfer over.
     
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  5. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    Yes, great point !
    Wait till your peepers are clucking. Hens don't seem too enjoy peeps. How did I miss that?
     
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  6. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    I introduced my 30 young ones to the six old girls at around 5-6 weeks.They shared a coop at the time, separated by chicken wire so the hens could see them from the time they were two weeks old. At first I let a couple of the older hens in with the younger ones just to see how they would react. Then I let the younger ones into the hens' part of the coop (where they also had access to the run) Again, I just let a few of the hens in at a time, leaving the others to free range. After several days of this, I let them all together. It went well except for one cranky girl (lowest in the pecking order) who decided to chase down the little ones and peck them for no reason. The other hens would peck them if they got too close, and I had one brave (or stupid) little cockerel who tried to eat out of the feeder when all 6 hens were eating. He tried 3 times - getting between two different ones each time. He got soundly thumped every time until he finally gave up. I don't remember exactly how long it was before I just left them all together. A week, maybe? I agree that 4 weeks might be a little young. I'd give it at least another week or so and then maybe limit their time together at first. When you do combine them, make sure you have hiding places for the little ones and more than one feeding and watering station. Also, make sure there is plenty of room so the little ones can get away.
     
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  7. christier

    christier Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you all such great information!
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Disagree with the peeping vs clucking theory......
    .....believe fully now from experience that the tiny peepers are less of a threat, so induce less aggression from flock than older clucking chicks do.


    I integrated this years chicks at about 4 weeks old.
    They went into the coop at 1 week with their heater, separated by a mostly mesh temporary wall from the main flock.
    They had their own feed, water, roost, and run in the 'coop partition' as I call it.
    At 4 weeks I opened the three tiny doors in the mesh wall and 'taught' them how to go in and out.
    At 6 weeks I took down the wall completely.
    There were a few pecks of course, some of the bigs pestered the littles more than others, but overall it was much less dramatic than usual.
    I think the chicks were less of a 'threat' than when I used to wait until the chicks were larger...and a smaller, faster target to hit, haha!
    Now at 10 weeks old, they all get along pretty darn well.
    It was nice to get the integration over sooner rather than later and because I had way more chicks this year it was a very good move to integrate younger,
    it's pretty crowded out there, but they are already used to each other.
     
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  9. christier

    christier Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank
     
  10. christier

    christier Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you so much
     

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