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Need your help regarding integrating flocks!!!! Please help!!!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by mags2009, Nov 14, 2009.

  1. mags2009

    mags2009 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've asked before, and I know some people said to just put them in and see what happens but.... we have one flock of seven, and one of three(easter eggers.) The orginal flock of seven lives in the coop, and the easter eggers live in our garage in a small pen/coop. My husband has built a pen within the run for the ee's when they go outside, which is almost every day according to our weather. So they have seen each other for almost 3 months now. Oh, by the way I should mention that our 1st flock will be 24 weeks on Monday, and now have 4/7 laying, and the ee's will be 15 weeks on Sunday. We have tried desperately to put them together, but to no avail. We have not seen any blood or anything, but lots of feathers being plucked out, and then we separate them. My husband said we should do it at night, but their coop light goes on at 4am, and we would not be up by then to referee. Should we just leave them in the garage, and eventually put some nest boxes in there, or what????? How can we integrate them safely???? I want to see what color their eggs will be, and don't want anything to happen to them!
     
  2. Coopa Cabana

    Coopa Cabana My Coop Runneth Over . . .

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    I always add my newbies at night, a couple of hours after everyone has roosted. The hardest integration is when you only have one to add - but you have 3. My newbies usually stick together by them selves in a corner for a couple of days - within a week everything is OK.
    If you're concerned about your light coming on at 4 am, can you turn it off for a night or two?
     
  3. KMHunter

    KMHunter [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG] Cr

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    Quote:That's what I was thinking. Turn the timer off for a week or so if you can. My last attempt at integration went ok. But there was a lot of feather pulling too. As long as there is no blood they should be ok eventually. Is there one or two that are the biggest bullies? I pulled the biggest and second biggest bullies out for a few days at a time. I kept them seperate from each other too. Then I put one back in at a time to see how they would act. It took two two or three tries with my BR who is the head hen. THey did eventually come around. Do yours free range at all? Mine got along best when free ranging. Then there was the squabbling at night over roost space. I would go in there and put them next to the one that got along with everyone. After a couple of weeks of that, I went out there one night and they were all sleeping next to someone that had previously been picked one or was doing the picking.(I hope that made sense) It usually works out in the end, but sometimes it take a lot longer than you expect. I know it took mine about 6 weeks to fully be apart of the flock. They are bottom of the pecking order, but I saw my little Ameraucana stand up to my BR the other day just a little. I was like "You go girl!". Good luck!
     
  4. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Your situation sounds similar to mine. I have an original flock of 7 and a younger flock of 3. The older ones are 14-17 weeks old and the younger 8 weeks old. They've all been outside together for a month. To begin with, the little ones were in a pen in the backyard so the free-rangers could see and talk to them but not directly interact. At night, the little ones were moved to a cat carrier in the coop. After three weeks of spending nights in the cat carrier, we tried letting the little ones go directly into the coop. Now here's the strange thing. IN the coop, we appear to have total integration. The big ones allow the little ones in, and even let them take the best spots on the roost! But outside is another matter. We still keep the little ones in a pen outside, unless we are home to supervise, in which case they free-range. While free-ranging, the little ones stick together and the big ones mostly keep to themselves. But every chance they get, the big ones chase and peck the little ones. I really would have thought it would be the other way around - that outside they would co-exist but in the coop there would be fighting. Go figure. I don't really have any advice as I'm still hoping for complete integration myself. Four of my older flock are roos who will be dinner shortly and I'm thinking that removing them might shake up the pecking order enough to allow the little ones to become part of the flock. Time will tell.
     
  5. mags2009

    mags2009 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Interesting!!!! They do not free range, and cannot, because of predators. I could turn off the lights for awhile, but the others have just started to lay, and I kind of don't want to disrupt that, but then again, winter is coming.....
     
  6. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    Can you give the little one's hiding places? Like plywood or something leaned up against a wall. Big enough for them to get behind, but not the older ones?
     
  7. PhilErvin

    PhilErvin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I cross fenced my run and segregated the big (3) girls on the side with the coop and built a new smaller coop for the girls (4) on the other end of the run. They are getting used to one another and I plan to keep them separated until the smaller girls have reached the size of the bigger girls.
     
  8. urban dreamer

    urban dreamer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ooo please let me know how it goes. I have two flocks that will be ready to intergrate in three weeks. Both flocks have two hens. This should be interesting.
     
  9. cicene mete

    cicene mete Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Here's a blog post about how I have integrated new members in the past: http://massachusettschicken.blogspot.com/2009/11/chicken-integration.html

    I
    tried to pull together the best of BYC and other sites. My situation is not exactly the same as yours, but still my experiences might help you.

    The best advice I can give you is, as soon as possible, try to put them where they can see and be around each other without actually coming into contact. And, take as long as you need, weeks if necessary, to get it done.
     
  10. hcammack

    hcammack Overrun With Chickens

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    I have integrated birds sucesfully many times but when integrating younger birds there is always going to be feather pulling and bullying its just the way chickens do it. My rooster has been refering for the new girls lately though which is kinda nice.

    Good Luck putting your girls in I would suggest giving them a place to hide in the coop sometimes. My girls are in a large run and a coop so they spend most of there day outside in the run.
     

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