Moving babies in with adults?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by 5lovelyhens, Oct 16, 2015.

  1. 5lovelyhens

    5lovelyhens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So I have 2 chicks, they're 2 months old. And I have 4 hens that are 1 year old. My hens are in the outside coop and I have a couple questions. How old should my babies be when I move them outside? And how will I introduce them to my other 4 without them getting killed?
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    You can move them out If they are fully feathered or your weather is not too bad yet or you can still provide some heat especially at night, set up a separate temporary pen to keep them in for a week or two, than start letting them mingle with supervision, some set up a panic room type situation for the chicks to get back in their separate pen, otherwise I let mine out and put them back until I feel everyone is getting along for the most part, locking them separately at night until it's no longer necessary.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2015
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Here's some notes I've taken on integration that I found to be very helpful.......
    ......take what applies or might help and ignore the rest.
    See if any of them, or the links provided at the bottom, might offer some tips that will assist you in your situation:

    Integration of new chickens into flock.


    Consider medical quarantine:
    BYC Medical Quarantine Article
    Poultry Biosecurity
    BYC 'medical quarantine' search

    Confine new birds within sight but physically segregated from older/existing birds for several weeks, so they can see and get used to each other but not physically interact. Integrating new birds of equal size works best.

    For smaller chicks I used a large wire dog crate right in the coop for the smallers. I removed the crate door and put up a piece of wire fencing over the opening and bent up one corner just enough for the smallers to fit thru but the biggers could not. Feed and water inside the crate for the smallers. Make sure the smallers know how to get in and out of the crate opening before exposing them to the olders. this worked out great for me, by the time the crate was too small for the them to roost in there(about 3 weeks), they had pretty much integrated themselves to the olders.

    If you have too many smallers to fit in a crate you can partition off part of the coop with a wire wall and make the same openings for smallers escape.


    The more space, the better. Birds will peck to establish dominance, the pecked bird needs space to get away. As long as there's no blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down, let them work it out. Every time you interfere or remove new birds, they'll have to start the pecking order thing all over again.

    Multiple feed/water stations. Dominance issues are most often carried out over sustenance, more stations lessens the frequency of that issue.

    Places for the new birds to hide out of line of sight and/or up and away from any bully birds.

    In adjacent runs, spread scratch grains along the dividing mesh, best of mesh is just big enough for birds to stick their head thru, so they get used to eating together.

    Another option, if possible, is to put all birds in a new coop and run, this takes the territoriality issues away.

    Read up on integration..... BYC advanced search>titles only>integration
    This is good place to start reading:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/adding-to-your-flock
     

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