Moving 2 chicks to the coop with 6 hens

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by sparrowchic, Dec 26, 2012.

  1. sparrowchic

    sparrowchic Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 19, 2011
    douglasville, ga
    I have a two part question. First, I have an Easter Egger and a Blue Andalusian that are 3 months old-ish. I think they are more than ready to be moved out of their small brooder and into the coop. I'm in N. Georgia, so it's not too cold typically. They have been inside, in the basement, the entire time. Should I move them to the garage to acclimate them or will they be fine, just going straight out? Second part, I have put them outside with my 6 hens several times. Five of the hens do not pay them any attention. But, my Polish will not leave them alone. Should I give them a few more introductions or just let them figure it out? I have wanted to get them out with the older girls, but I don't think my Polish will ever just ignore them. I *think* I will put them in at night and try that method, to see if she accepts them easier. What do y'all think?? Thanks, so much!!!!
     
  2. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    What works best, and is safest for the new birds, is to fence off part of your run for the new birds and let them sleep in the coop in a wire dog crate. I used to do that, now I have a grow out pen right alongside my bigger birds run. Everybody gets plenty of time to see each other and get used to each other before they actually share space. It really cuts down on the aggressive behavior and pecking. Once they get together there are still some scuffles but usually pretty minor. When you just pop new birds into the coop/run without a long enough amount of time for the older birds to get used to them you will have worse pecking order fights and possible injury/bloodshed. I have had a hen scalped doing that so I don't do it anymore! It's also harder when you are only introducing one or two new birds versus several.

    I am personally not a fan of popping them in the coop overnight. The older birds still know when they get up the next morning that there are strangers in the coop, it has never, ever worked for me. If you do that just make sure you are there to supervise early in the morning in case things get out of hand. Sometimes if you try to integrate new birds too fast the older birds get it in their head to attack and run the new one off and sometimes they just never get over it. I've had that happen to so now I take plenty of time to integrate.

    Good luck with your birds, chickens can be a real pain in the backside about accepting new birds!
     

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