New chickens, trying to integrate

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by epeloquin, Jan 17, 2013.

  1. epeloquin

    epeloquin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 11, 2011
    Western Massachusetts
    I have three Ply Rocks and three Rhodies. I just got a Buff Orp and a Black Minorca. I dusted them well for possible mites. I forgot the idea of quaratining them. By all appearances they are healthy. I hope I don't pay the price for forgetting to quarantine.

    The issue is that they are not integrating into the existing flock. The other chickens tolerate them but if they get too close they have a scuffle. No blood letting but they do have a go. The Orpington is VERY skittish and has been since the day I got her (last Sat.). The Minorca, which is much younger (I estimate about 6 mos) and no where near as skittish. They pretty much stay together. If the other girls are in the run then the new ones will go inside the coop. If the others are in the coop they will go out in the run.

    The most interesting part of it all is that my Rhodies pretty much ignore the new girls. I suspect it is because two of them are just at the tail end of a moult and the other (the alpha) is maybe half way through.

    Is it just a matter of time? Will they eventually begin to get on together? I would really appreciate advice from more experienced folks.
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    You're doing great. They will eventually integrate. As long as there is no pecking/attacking to the point of drawing blood everything is right on track. Just make sure that the new birds are being allowed to eat and drink.
     
  3. epeloquin

    epeloquin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 11, 2011
    Western Massachusetts
    On the food, it is a good point. Since I got them I have been providing extra food so that if they are in the coop, there is food in there, as well as in the run where they usually feed. Plus I have been offering them treats like I do with my other girls. They won't eat from my hand yet, but in time I hope they will.

    I was quite pleased today. I opened the run to let everyone out for a bit of yard time. Usually I had to kind of push the new gals toward the door to go out. Yesterday they did a lot of scratching and pecking which really delighted me. Today they cam right out on their own. I always give my girls treats when they come out so I gave the existing flock some and then I gave the new girls some and I just kind of drew them near each other. For a while they were quietly feeding next to each other with no problem. After a while one of the Rocks went toward the Orp and she flipped and ran back near the run. As I had said, she is very skittish near people or chickens.

    Overall I was delighted because they were just 'being chickens' which I love to watch. Also, the two new girls went to roost on their own tonight. The first couple nights I had to roost them. One night I found them in the run, roosting on the day perch. They just looked much more comfortable today. Lots of cooing, pecking/scratching etc. If I continue to have days like today I will be very happy.
     

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