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My attempt to integrate safely went wrong.

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by SmokinChick, Jul 9, 2011.

  1. SmokinChick

    SmokinChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 27, 2011
    Kingsville, MD
    I took our 6, 3-4 week old chicks and put them in a 3L x 5W x 2H pen that is covered with black plastic 1 x 1 netting. They have been in it several times over the last week for 2-3 hrs at a time.
    I have the pen in the main chicken area, 50 x 50 foot fenced. With the 4, 4 month chickens. Not predator proof, just meant to contain chickens. Anyway, I put them out there this morning with water and gave them some food through out the day.
    I went to get them in at 4 and 1 Buff O was dead laying against the side of the pen. She had alot of blood on the back of her neck and a little on her thigh. Two of the other chicks have damage to their combs.
    Was there a gang war in the pen? Or did the older chickens reach in and get a quick strike on them?
    Right now the chicks are in the brooder in the basement. All appears good and quite. They all seem happy and calm, food and water.
    Should I try to acclimate them with the older girls again in a couple of days? Or wait longer.
    I will be covering the pen in 1/2" hardware cloth prior to the next outing. Atleast I'd know it was a gang fight and not blame the big girls.
    Thanks
     
  2. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    They all need to be close to the same size, unless they have a mama hen. Chickens can be heartless. I think you will need to wait at least several more weeks.
     
  3. SmokinChick

    SmokinChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 27, 2011
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    I agree Mrs K. But the chicks were in the pen and the older birds were walking around in the 50x50 area. The other times the chicks were in the pen, the older chickens walked around the pen looking in and making abunch of noises. Not alot of interest was shown after several minutes.

    i think I will give all the partioes a break. And try again in a week.
     
  4. Tenmore

    Tenmore Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ogden utah
    Line the cage with hardware cloth or something the chicken cant get through yet can be by each other and give some time might be alot of time......good luck
     
  5. chi-rn

    chi-rn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 11, 2011
    If I read this right, you put the 3-4 week-old chicks in the smaller enclosure with four of your 4-month old chickens. The smaller enclosure was then embedded inside your 50 X 50 foot enclosure where your adult hens were hanging out. Or, it could be just the chicks were in the smaller enclosure & 4-month olds hanging around in the larger enclosure. Regardless, 3-4 week old chicks not with a mother hen are too young to be put with older hens. Actually, I'm on the alert right now with my 12-week old juveniles being bullied by my 7-month old hens. I'm thinking I may have to separate them again... I'm finding integration yo be a slow and deliberate process. Good luck sorry about your loss. Buff Os are such gentle birds...
     
  6. swampcat

    swampcat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 18, 2011
    Brooklyn, CT
    Here's my thought:
    Because the little guys were in such a small pen, they had no where to run to avoid a pecking through the sides or top. I would make a bigger pen with hardware cloth inside the big pen and put the little guys in there. Make sure they have enough space to run to the other side if they are scared. Maybe even put a cardboard box on its side in there so they have something to hide in. So sorry it turned out that way
     
  7. Tenmore

    Tenmore Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:or put the wire cage in the corner so it is exposed to the run on only 2 sides and put a piece of ply wood on top for protection.got to give them a safe corner or shelter like was mentioned above.. chickens can be brutal
     
  8. swampcat

    swampcat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 18, 2011
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    Quote:Good thought! That would probably make more sense.
     
  9. SmokinChick

    SmokinChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 27, 2011
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    Thanks for the ideas. I will line w/hardware cloth and add 2 plywood walls. I wish I had thought of that first.
    Thanks again.
     

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