mixing in my new 4 wk old buff orpingtons & my 3 mth Austrolorp

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Mom2Cool, Sep 11, 2008.

  1. Mom2Cool

    Mom2Cool Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 8, 2008
    OK well so I had been thinking to put hold off for another 2 wks with the Buff Orpingtons moving outside because it's getting a bit chilly at night nere now & I wasn't sure if they'd feathered up enough yet. But I was going to put them into the smaller coop at the start if I had too because I had my 3 month old Barred Rock Rooster & another 3 month old Austrolorp hen. I lost my BR today to another bear attack & now the Austrolorp is all alone...... Normally during the day I had been bringing the BO's out & putting them in the penned in area that has the electric fence now running around it & I would let the 3 month olds free range the back yard that is fenced in with just a regular fence (split raile with wire). Anyway the BO seem to have feathered up real nice, but I just wasn't sure if they were ready to be put outside yet because they seem to really love the lamp when they come back in at night. And a bit of a side note it's just too cute when I go out there with the cage I keep them in at night & they are literally jumping back into it..... LOL Anyway the Austrolorp seemed ok and not too truamatized & was acting normal except like she was calling for the roo every once in a while etc. She's pretty sweet really & so was the BR & while they always showed an interest in the new chicks I figured they wouldn't be just ok to put together until the BO's where large in size at least. I'd heard tell that the BO's can be picked on by even the "docile breeds" & so I'd thought to really make sure they were large enough etc. But with the Austrolorp looking so lonely I thought maybe I could put her in the pen with them and see if they could coexist so she wouldn't be completely alone at night etc. Well I get her into the penned in area with the BO's & she was like a hen pecking manic.


    I'm not sure what to do. It was a few weeks ago that I had lost the first 2 chickens to a bear attack & so I was happy that I had the group of BO's already on order & due to come in within a couple weeks, because I knew at some point I'd have to let go of the roo & the Austrolorp would be all alone..... It bothers me she's all alone but I'm not sure how to go about mixing them in together. Do I wait until the BO's have another 3 or 4 wks of growth under them??? Will they just eventually start to be ok with each other if they're on opposite sides of the fenced in area? They do tend to mingle from opposite sides but I'm just not sure if it's the fence that keeps them from pecking each other into oblivion. Will they be ok once they have some growth on them &/or when they're a bit bigger in size will they all do this to just figure out the order of the group??? I'd really prefer to have them all in the 1 coop because it's a lot more secure with the entire thing closed in etc. We do have the electric fence running around the penned in area but I just feel better with them all in the larger coop. I wish I could just put them all in together... Any advice is appreciated.
     
  2. swampducks

    swampducks Overrun With Guineas

    Feb 29, 2008
    Barton City, MI
    Could you put a separate cage in the coop with the younger birds in it? That's what I did with my 6 week old birds with my 16 week old ones. Kept the cage shut the first few days, and have since opened it. If any of the bigger birds get "over friendly" the little ones run back inside. Working so far though it's only been a few days.
     
  3. Mom2Cool

    Mom2Cool Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 8, 2008
    Quote:Swampducks actually hubby had said this very thing.... Though the cage I'm using for them opens & closes from the top & so if they were in it then they'd have to stay there. But we'd thought maybe they could all become accustomed to each other better that way & get the idea they're going to be rooming in with each other. LOL

    This is the cage & the bigger hen can peck through if they're right up against the side.


    [​IMG]

    What kind of cage are you using that the chicks can go in & out & the larger can't follow? I do have one of those plastic dog crates I could use & I guess I could wedge the door to a place where just they could get in & out? This is a good idea & I'll have to think about it for a bit.
     
  4. swampducks

    swampducks Overrun With Guineas

    Feb 29, 2008
    Barton City, MI
    It's just a homemade welded wire cage with a small door in the side. You make the door too small for adult birds to go inside.

    Tonight though, no one is sleeping inside,they're all on the coop floor and the big birds are on the perches above.
     
  5. Mom2Cool

    Mom2Cool Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 8, 2008
    hmmm well that's what we're doing right now & last night was the first night. I have a baby cam in the coop & I don't mind saying I seem to recall someone on the BYC she was getting one & yet saying she wasn't sure she wanted to know what was going on & after last night I absolutely AGREE with her! I can "kind of see" & the Black Austrolorp is on her own seeming VERY lonely & then yet when we even let the little chicks out to free range with her she is just REAL MEAN and wants to yank out feathers!

    These little Buff Orpingtons are *exactly the way people describe them in temprement* & they do not even do that head/chest challenge the buddy thing & I feel kind of bad because they seemed SO SCARED last night! The Black Orpington is not quiet 4 months and is generally a sweet heart & it's amazing how fast she can turn with these little sweeties.... The top of their cage is wire as you can see in the picture and she would perch on top & *that's ALL I could see* though she did finally settle in etc. Will they all eventually just accept each other or do they need to go through this "I'm gonna tear out your feathers" thing? I'm thinking that I might put wire down the center of the coop to separate them until thedy're old enough/big enough to at least defend themselves from her. But I was also hoping that with them spending a few nights in the cage inside the coop that maybe they'd all bond? I'm so new to chickens it's so different than say dogs. [​IMG] Anyway I just thought maybe some here would have some advice especially between the different breeds. I'm trying to get a good pic of them they're just beautiful but it's tough to get a good picture. LOL
     

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