introducing new chickens

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by RWGreen312, Jan 7, 2012.

  1. RWGreen312

    RWGreen312 Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 4, 2011
    I have two plymouth rock hens that are about 8 months old. I also have a pair of golden campine (a roor and hen) that are about 9 weeks old . Is it to soon to put them in the same coop? I have had the campines in a crate that is in my coop, off the ground and has chicken wire window.Will the older hens pick on the younger ones if I put them free in the coop or should i wait till they are bigger? Is there a way to introduce the to each other that has worked for any others on here? thanks
     
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    For the best results waiting until they are 16 weeks old is optimal.

    However, I have gotten away with integration of the youngsters earlier than that. I would say that the longer you wait the better, generally speaking.

    Since your primary flock consists of two hens instead of 50, if it were me I'd give it a trial where I sit out there for TWO hours with them and see how it goes with integration. If you can wait another couple of weeks the chances get even better that things will go well.

    Everything depends on the personalities of the two barred rocks. If they are not too aggressive things may go well. For example I have placed adult silkies in with chicks younger than yours and all was well.

    If you see the younger chickens with tushies in the air against the wall or fence, and the older hens attacking from the rear, get them back in their crate!!!! They are probably about to be killed.

    If you see the barred rocks pecking viciously at the youngsters but only once or twice, with the youngsters running away safely, things are going well.

    I LOVE Golden Campines. I used to have 20 of them and they are pretty active birds. That is in their favor here. I have never had Barred Rocks and so cannot speak to their disposition. If you had Rhode Island Reds or another aggressive breed I'd wait longer.

    Also- if your run is very small I WOULD wait longer. If there are no places for the youngsters to "get away" as in across the yard or in a large run, I think I would try to hold off for just a bit.

    There are no guarantees and it is always a risk that the chicks will be hurt and especially before 16 weeks or they are about the same size as the adults. The key is to set aside a couple hours that you can sit there in the lawn chair and watch for trouble when you do it. Then if things are dangerous you can save them. Some integrate at night but I like to see what is happening.
     
  3. dsfrango

    dsfrango Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 12, 2011
    Stafford Springs
    I did exactly that, let them mingle for a couple hrs here and there ONLY under supervision so that you can see how they get along. I introduced 3 standard chicks(barred, speck Sussex, and Wyan) to 13 bantams in an 8x16 coop/run. The speckled sus was actually pretty bold and would challenge some of the bantams. They were about 2 months old when I started doing this. They were in a crate inside the run so they could always see each other. I know there was a little bit of pecking but they always got out of the way quick enough. Now they are outgrowing the bantams haha and have been in the flock now for a month already. So they were betyween 14-16weeks when left unsupervised. Good luck with yours![​IMG]
     

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