Introducing the new chicks in town

veramadera

In the Brooder
Mar 17, 2017
16
2
49
Hi all,

I had to restart my flock from scratch this year, and I started with two runner ducklings and two Polish tophats. The four get along very well, and all appear to be female - they're about 10 and a half weeks old now, and all are in the main coop. I have 8 new chicks, a mix of silkies, cochin bantams, one more Polish and an easter egger bantam. This second group was all raised together, and are all straight run. The age range is 2-6 weeks. I'd like to get them all together in the main coop.The ducks are fully grown and quacking up a storm, but not laying yet. The oldest Polish are fully feathered, but still making chick noises. I tried just moving the 6-week old chicks in, and they basically huddled in the corner all day - wouldn't go near food or water. The Polish were not too nasty, but made a point to claim the food and water areas for their own, even though I set up several. My new plan is to keep the littles in a small pen inside the main coop, so everyone can get acquainted. They spend the night inside, in their brooder. Anyone have experience with a situation like this? Any thoughts on how long I should keep them separated, or if there's other things I can do to make a smoother transition? Thanks!!
 

Chickassan

Wattle Fondler
May 23, 2017
14,996
74,919
1,307
Greenville S.C, formerly Noneya U.S.A
I sectioned off a part for my bitty chickens in the run so the bigger ones could look but not touch.At night the chicks went in a pet carrier inside the main coop.I'm just starting face to face intros after two weeks with no issues. My bittys are two months old, in a few more weeks I will stop doing the carrier once the danger of big feet is lessened.
 

veramadera

In the Brooder
Mar 17, 2017
16
2
49
Maybe putting them in the coop at night, in a carrier would help. There is a fair bit of harassment from the older girls, but it's not too mean-spirited. Generally, the two older chickens are hanging out on "their side" of the coop, and the littles are staying pretty much in their own area. I cut a small door in the littles pen, so they can hop in and out as they wish, but the bigger girls can't get in. It seems to be easing things. I'm gonna put some lovely treats out for the big girls, so they have something more constructive to focus on. The ducks are totally oblivious to this whole situation.
 

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