Keeping them from tearing each other apart.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by barg, Jun 11, 2007.

  1. barg

    barg Songster

    Apr 27, 2007
    MY last post on this evolved and I think my question became difficult to understand . I'm starting over and trying to be more clear. Hopefully someone will have experience that can help me out. [​IMG]
    I want to avoid some of the problems, Iv'e read about from others, who have introdudeced new chicks to their flock.
    The Questions:
    1)Will having new chicks in their own temporary coop for a few weeks make things easier or harder when I finally try to intergrate them(will they become to attached to their temporary coop)?
    2)I'm still not sure how old the new ones should be before I take down the wall?????

    3)Will this be easier since my older pullets will not be full grown adults?

    The details:
    I have 2 Australorps and 2 dominiques currently 8 weeks old.
    Im getting (1) Ameruicana and (1) Golden laced wyndotte this week, both will be a day or 2 old.
    In aproximatly 7-8 weeks I will be introduceing the 2 new ones to the exististing 4. (there will be an 8 week difference in age)
    The younger ones will have their own temporary mini coop in the extended run. When they are the right age ill remove the seperating wall and give them all access to the entire thing.
    The hope:
    I ultimatly want to have them all in the same house and coop.
    The fear:
    I'll introduce them at the wrong time.
    The younger ones will get used to the temp coop and not want to go in the main coop.

    Take a look at this and tell me what you think.
    Any suggestion about mistakes i'm making in my plan for introduction and integration is very welcome.

    The plan:

    To introduce them I will have the new ones seperated into the extended run as shown.

    They will be sperated by a hardware cloth wall.

    The two answers I got from my last post on this that were helpful.
    Quote:Quote:I had alot of people viewing my last post on this but i didnt get very many responces, so I can only assume that, the question was unclear, or that no one knew, but the quyestions remain so I have rephrased it. I think this is one of those things you can't fuge on the details for, cause you can screw up bad :eek:

    Thanks for all your help, this will be my last post on this , I dont wana clutter up the forum anymore with it, so hopefully i'll get some good input [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2007
  2. Jsto

    Jsto Songster

    Apr 30, 2007
    North Carolina
    I'm new to chickens and don't have any experience with this myself, but from what I gather, the chicks seeing each other but not being able to get to each other is what it takes.

    I may be wrong, but waiting 8 weeks seems like quite a long time. Especially considering just how much your older birds will have grown in that time. I would think (and again, I have no experience, just throwing ideas around) that the sooner you introduce, the better. That's not to say throw in day old chicks with 8 week olds. There is going to be pecking and such, it's unavoidable. I'd think waiting just until the new chicks started growing and being able to defend themselves would be sufficient....maybe 3-4 weeks. Sounds like ample time for them all to get used to each other.

    I'm a little fuzzy on your drawing. Is the removable wire wall seperating the older chicks from an outside run? Or is all of that inside? I would think housing the chicks in an enclosed space (when it's possible for you to do so) within the main coop would be good. Maybe place their seperate feeders respectively on either side of the divider so they have to 'socialize' and get used to each other.

    Again, just some ideas from someone new to all of this. Just relaying stuff that I've gathered through this site and others [​IMG] Take it with a grain of salt...I'm sure some more experienced than I will be along shortly!!
  3. Jsto

    Jsto Songster

    Apr 30, 2007
    North Carolina
    Ok, I just remembered your Leggo coop and realised most of my suggestions won't work, lol! I still would say that if you can work it out so the chicks are very close to your 8 weekers, yet untouchable by them, that would be ideal. Perhaps attach your temporary housing directly to your current set up rather than making the extended run.
  4. Queen of the Lilliputians

    Queen of the Lilliputians Songster

    Apr 5, 2007
    I haven't had to do this, which is why I didn't respond to your previous post (but I did go back and check it a few times for future reference, so I probably threw your numbers off.. sorry). I agree with jsto that 8 weeks seems like a long time, although I also wouldn't put new babies right in since that seems like a recipe for disaster.

    Whatever age you decide on (4-5wks maybe?), I'd provide a space that the younger group could get into that the older group could not. That way if there is some picking, the littler ones could get away. Does that make sense?

    Anyway.. I'm a newbie really, so take my advice with a grain of salt [​IMG] . Just wanted to throw out an idea.

  5. barg

    barg Songster

    Apr 27, 2007
    sorry Iv'e been unclear again UHG
    The extended run is designed as part of the original plan of the coop and will also be used as a tractor.
    The coop was designed with a removable wall where the extended run connects to it. The younger ones will be sperated at first by this wall, and I will build a temporary house within the extended run for the younger ones.
    There in lie many of my questions.

    I dont know where ive been unclear till some one responds so...
    Thanks for the responces guys [​IMG]
    BTW i suck at drawing up plans, i'm a bit better at just building the stuff haha
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2007
  6. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    Feb 28, 2007
    South Eastern Indiana

    The set up you have there looks great. This will give them "face time" without hurting each other. I would waite till the new ones have thier feathers....just a few weeks, then try them together. The fact that you are adding 2 at a time is great. When I put mine together...the original group was 1 yr old....the "babies" were in a section of the coop for about 3 weeks...makeing them 8 weeks old when I turned them into the bigger coop. However, there was 13 older ones, and I added 23 to the too many for the older ones to pic on...they mostly just got out of the way! LOL Sounds to me like you have a good plan. Good luck with them. Everything shoud go fine!
  7. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    barg, that is a fabulous little picture you added. My gut feeling is that you should try not to worry about this too much. Your set-up looks perfect for your situation, as they will be safely separated, yet still be able to visit through the fence and get used to each other.

    I don't think you'll have too much trouble getting the younger ones to move into the main coop. The run is larger, the coop is not only larger, but is more elevated for roosting and chickens love to explore! Toss a little scratch in there on moving day and Woo Hoo! [​IMG]

    When you decide to let them mingle, just keep an eye on them. If you have any problems, you can always separate them again temporarily, if you have to. You can probably either sneak the new chickens into the main coop after dark, connect the two runs or let them all out towards the end of the day to co-mingle in your yard, if you can. Any of those will probably work.

    I'm sure this will all work out fine and I hope you get lots of feedback.
  8. BeckyLa

    BeckyLa Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    N. Louisiana
    Barg, your setup is perfect for what you are trying to do. I would leave them separated for at least a month or so and then put them together when they are close to the same size. I would put a pop door between runs and when they're ready to mingle, just leave it open. They'll separate into their own coops at night for a while, but eventually they will all go together. Just remember, if they're close to the same size, it's ok to leave them together inspite of the fact that the feathers will fly and there will be pecking and squawking as a new pecking order is established.
  9. barg

    barg Songster

    Apr 27, 2007
    Ok, to review all your posts so far and sum it up...
    Put them outside around 4 weeks old... let them stay there for a month and then, let them have at it at about 8 weeks old...

    Distractions galore to help, and eventually they're all in the same coop at night.

    It sounds crazy, but it just might work.

    Thanks for the help all,
    Feel free to add anything else you may think of,
    I know there's at least one other person reading this thread looking for answers here.
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2007
  10. nu2chixinmo

    nu2chixinmo In the Brooder

    Apr 27, 2007
    Sturgeon, MO
    I had the same questions when trying to introduce my Buff babies - 6 Weeks to my others - 13 Weeks. DH said it was time for them to get out of the shop:).
    I left my Buffs in there brooder(wire cage) and set it up in the coop. Alittle bit every evening I would let them out, to watch the others peck at them. Believe it or not they defended themselves quite well. I have one little mischievious one that kept getting out with the older chickens. So far so good. I even let the others out to free range the other night,( Boy did they love me:D) The little ones had the run of the coop. Then while proceeding to put them (babies) back up for the evening, they did not want to be "locked back up", so I left them out. I am 3 days into this, and still going good.
    Best of Luck - Nichole

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