Introducing youngsters to an astablished but young flock...

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Mrs. Eggna Beaker, Jun 21, 2011.

  1. Mrs. Eggna Beaker

    Mrs. Eggna Beaker Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 21, 2011
    I am introducing a clutch of 11 hybrid welsummers into a mixed flock of 12 pullets and 1 Naked Neck Rooster (about 14 wks). I have a large wire dog kennel that I have taken the bottom guard out and placed outside by the existing coop so the existing flock will get used to their site, sound and smell. I also read that if a rooster is still young that he will take the new youngsters under his care and protect them from the hierarchy of hens. So for about 20 min a day I will put the rooster in with youngsters so he gets used to them and I remove the food (so the rooster does not injure the chicks by establishing his rank just yet) but keep the water. Since the newbies are locked up and the others free range they will naturally be at the lower end of the pecking order (so I have read). After about a week I will clean the coop and disinfect to reduce the risk of disease, since the youngsters will be about 11 wks at that time, and introduce them to the flock at night on the unoccupied roosts. I am still very new to the introduction process but thought from me research I would combined the working strategies for a more smooth transition. Your insight and constructive criticism are much appreciated. Thanks.
  2. Aria

    Aria Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 15, 2010
    We have 4 Buff Chicks born April 7 We have 4 white Silkie Chicks born April 29. They stay in the barn with the Adult Flock of 14 Silkie Hens and 1 Silkie Rooster.

    We have an automatic door the morning door up and most all out. 4 Buffs stay together
    4 White stay together and all Adults together.

    We have 3 groups.

    Dusk: Door closes. All adults are in

    We open the door and get the new Chicks in the Barn.

    I think we will need to do this until the Chicks get the routine? We hope.
  3. boxedcow

    boxedcow Out Of The Brooder

    I have the same sort of arrangement going on as you age & separation wise (they are also 3 weeks apart). I have 2 EEs (1 roo) that are the older ones abt.10 weeks and 2 partridge rocks and a black australorp that I'm trying to get all back together (my young ones were not ready to go out when the older ones were.)

    My roo seems to like them ok, but the pullet is not too thrilled with them being around in the coop but she is ok in a neutral area. I was hoping she would be easy going since she used to snuggle with them. I give them a little group time outside of the coop that way neither group has any claim to the space and then keep them separated while in the coop.

    While I don't have any advice it will be interesting to see how you do compared to my group. Good Luck!
  4. MyChickenWishList

    MyChickenWishList Out Of The Brooder

    May 1, 2011
    I have the same problem..3 different age groups of young chicks. The only probablem bird seems to be from the oldest group (a silverlaced wyanndotte) she keeps pecking and chasing everyone except her group..[​IMG]

    I am thinking on crating her for a couple of days and see how everyone else does when shes not around...hmmmm
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2011
  5. PetRock

    PetRock Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 28, 2010
    SF Bay Area, CA
    We have three age groups that we are in the process of integrating. Seven hens that are just over 1 yr. old, seven youngsters who are 10-13 weeks old, and three 6 week old chicks who were raised by a broody for 4 weeks and then cut loose. They have all been free ranging "together" for the past 2-3 weeks. The older hens have done some pecking on the middle group. The two lowest in the pecking order of that group (Silver Laced Wyandottes) are the most frequent offenders. A few of the youngsters have lost some tail feathers but all of them have learned to move fast when the big girls come close. A few of the teenagers, including the one cockerel, give the babies a peck every once in a while. The smallest 3 were integrated into the flock by mama hen but are too small to free range all the time with the rest of the flock because of hawks and cats. I also think that they might be picked on if left free in the coop at night. Mama hen pecks them whenever they get close to her and is not protecting them from the other hens anymore. So they have an outdoor brooder that they spend part of the day in and a dog kennel in the coop that they sleep in at night. The teenagers have been sleeping in the coop for the past week with a divider to separate them from the big girls. They all pile in a corner and are not interested in sleeping on the roosts even though we added another one so there is plenty of room. Today, the divider came down and tonight will be their first night in the coop with nothing between them and the older hens. I am going to block off the nest boxes because they have already shown a preference for sleeping and pooping in them. Hopefully, it will all go well and no feathers will be lost! [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2011
  6. gardengrll

    gardengrll New Egg

    Apr 28, 2011
    I'm totally new to this but I had 5 pullets about 10 weeks old that were ready for the coop before 2 (1 roo, 1 still unknown) 6 week chicks. 1 of the younger chicks also has a bum leg, so needs special attention. I put the roo in the run with the big girls and when he seemed to be getting a little too much pecking, just chased the girls off a little. There are plenty of places for the roo to run and hide if needed. Within about 10 -15 minutes things settled down, though I kept checking throughout the day to be sure it stayed calm. The unknown chick with the bad leg went into a crate - out in the run during the day and then in the coop at night. After several days, I took her out of the crate and set her in the coop. The roo - her former crate-mate - was the only one that was at all aggressive toward her, so again I chased him off or pushed him away a couple times. Within minutes he was eating next to her and she was happier than she'd been in the crate. Before the coop was done, the big girls were in one large dog crate, and the younger chicks were in a smaller crate sitting right next to each other in the garage. Maybe the transition was easy because they had spent so much time in close quarters earlier? But all the chickens seemed to respond well when I would intervene to protect the newbie. Now just hoping the unknown chick is a pullet so we can keep her!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by