Introducing new Birds

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by crazychics4me, Sep 16, 2011.

  1. crazychics4me

    crazychics4me In the Brooder

    Sep 6, 2011
    I have a large coop full of layers, 13 to be exact. I also have a small coop full of 4 guineas, a buff orp & what looks like a red sex link. The birds in the small coop are still small enough, though barely, to squeeze through the fence. I would like to be able to let them out with the others, but I am afraid the guineas will be too crazy or too dumb to come back after they leave the fenced area & I won't be able to catch the 2 chickens if they squeeze through the fence. I also know my bigger girls are aggressive with newly introduced members. We introduced a roo to them a couple months back & he hung around for about a month then literally flew the coop lol. So any ideas on how to integrate the smaller birds? I would really like to be able to let them out with the others but after all the time, effort & money spent on feed I don't want to lose them. Thanks!! [​IMG]

  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    I have two coops too, kind of like you do. One is the big hen house (an 8x12 red barn), and the other is a 6x6 A-frame. The big one holds all my large fowl laying hens. The little coop is for my eye candy bantams.

    The laying hens get to free range about half of the day, while the bantams are only let out when I come home from work, and I'm out there cleaning, feeding and watering.

    What I do, is distract the large fowl by giving them their cracked corn treat inside the run, then I shut them in. While they're in there eating their snack, I let the bantams out to stretch their legs and run around. Then I will let the large fowl out with them, once they're done with their snack.

    At first, the laying hens (oh and 2 turkeys) did try to pick on the bantams, but I was always close by to discourage any mean behaviors. Now, they're used to eachother and the big hens and turkeys dont' really mess with the bantams much. Plus, my little Polish frizzle rooster (King of the bantams [​IMG]) Thinks he's a large fowl and has no trouble chasing a larger hen, or even a rooster away! I swear, he thinks he's a Jersey Giant.

    If I'm out in the garden, I will let the bantams out for longer periods of time.

    I think, if your chickens and guineas have been in your coop for at least two weeks, they will go back into the coop. I know the chickens will, but I have to admit that I don't have guineas.

    Hope this helps a little bit,

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by