Introducing new chicks to existing flock

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Zigmont, Nov 25, 2011.

  1. Zigmont

    Zigmont Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 29, 2011
    My two new EE pullets are now 13 weeks old. For the last several weeks, we have gradually introduced them to the existing flock of three hens and a Dominique roo, all around 8 months. We put them in adjacent pens so they could see each other, placed them on the roost at night and then separated them in the morning, and free ranged them all together. At first, the roo would go after them and I would run to the rescue. The older girls tried to beat them up at first, but now all but one completely ignores them . Yesterday, I left them in the coop until a bit past day break. Poor Ogee was in the nesting box, and Buffy was in the corner with her head hidden and Ziggy the roo was bullying her. He wasn't attacking, but I got nervous and separated them. Throughout the day he would just chase them away from the coop. This morning I went out and opened the front and back doors. The two little ones stayed on the roost until the big kids were done eating, but came down to eat once they went in the back area. I think I might have a flock now without making myself insane running to the rescue.

    At 13 weeks, does everyone think the danger of injury is over and I might just expect a few pecks? With the holiday, I have the weekend, but Monday I am back to work with them locked in together for up to ten hours of unsupervised time. There is a front area that is 6x 8 and the back is about 10 x 10. The coop is in the middle. I don't want to come home to two dead or maimed babies!
     
  2. justbugged

    justbugged Head of the Night Crew for WA State

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    Enumclaw
    At some point you will just need to let them figure out what is happening. If you keep running interference then they may take much linger to figure out the pecking order. Some bullying is to be accepted.
     
  3. Zigmont

    Zigmont Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Now Buffy is bleeding. Not sure I can take it....
     
  4. Zigmont

    Zigmont Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I separated them again. How brutal do I let it get before I intervene? They still are smaller than the hens and much smaller than the roo. Will he like them when they are sexually mature? When is that?
     
  5. justbugged

    justbugged Head of the Night Crew for WA State

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    You need to get Blue Kote. It sprays on an antibiotic, and disguises any red on another hen. If they are bleeding you must separate the bleeding hen from the others. As long as the birds can see red on the others, the birds will continue until the bleeding bird is dead. With the Blue Kote you can leave the birds together.
     
  6. justbugged

    justbugged Head of the Night Crew for WA State

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    Enumclaw
    I am so sorry that I wasn't able to get back to you sooner. I had to go to dinner at the DD's home.
     
  7. Zigmont

    Zigmont Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Thanks. I will get blue kote in case. I think they are better today. We free ranged them yesterday for most of the day and the hens completely ignored them. The roo is now interested in herding them, instead of chasing them, which I think is good. They are funny and flew onto our shoulders to get away! The babies want to be close , but not right with the bigger ones. Today all woke up together without incident, so far. I will watch them all day. Tomorrow is back to work with no chicken supervision all day. If they are ok today, do I leave them together tomorrow, or separate them where they can see each other until I am sure they will be ok?
     
  8. justbugged

    justbugged Head of the Night Crew for WA State

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    Enumclaw
    I am delighted that you had such a good day with your flock. It sounds like progress. Still.......

    If a bird has anything that looks like blood, like anything red. You must separate the injured bird. The red is a invitation to be pecked at. This is especially important if you are not there to supervise.

    The Blue Kote is fairly inexpensive to buy and will turn the injured bird very very purple. At that point it is usually safe to leave them with the rest of the flock.

    I should be more available during the coming week here.
     

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