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New chicks to existing flock - Yes another newbie with questions :)

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Feathers n Fur, Mar 7, 2013.

  1. Feathers n Fur

    Feathers n Fur Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 27, 2012
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    I've read many threads on introducing new chickens to an existing flock and I feel pretty confident I shouldn't have issue but I would feel better if I got some feedback. I have 7 girls that are 10 months old in a "Taj Mahal" of a coop and run (plenty of room for 40 hens according to my farming friend). I couldn't resist 5 more chickies last week and they are currently in a brooder in my basement. I am hoping to marry the two flocks sometime in June when the little chicklets have feathered and are big enough to defend themselves against the big girls. I know pecking order will need to be re-established but I am hoping for little confilict. My thought was to section off a good part of the coop with chicken wire and have the newbies in for a day or two so each group could see each other before letting them out in the run together.

    My questions are:

    Is there anything else I should do to ease the meeting of the peeps?

    Unfortunately I can't section off the run as I only have one way in and out from the coop so I wold have to bring them out one at a time to any sectioned area via the outside doors then back in the same way. Is two days long enough before I let them comingle in the run as well?
     
  2. maidenwolfx80

    maidenwolfx80 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would wait longer than 2 days. You want them to be used to one another it should be a normal thing that the other birds are there. I always do at least 2-3 weeks. Yes it is awhile but it will ease their joining and you wont have as much bullying.
     
  3. missnu01

    missnu01 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When I introduced new chicks to my existing flock I put them in a really big dog crate in the main coop so everyone could see everyone else for a week and then one day when I went up to let the chickens out I let the babies out too...There was never any issue and that was 3 months ago...Lol...
    So let them see each other and become accustomed to each other first...then when they are distracted let them all together, and then they will regroup and it will be like nothing ever happened...
    The flocks are still somewhat divided though. The chicks, which are barnyard bantam sized mixes kind of stick to themselves, while the large fowl stick to themselves. The original chickens rule, as in they get food and water first and all that, but no fighting or picking or issues.
    My big rooster won't allow any fighting so that helps too.
     
  4. Feathers n Fur

    Feathers n Fur Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 27, 2012
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    Thank you both for your insights. I will keep the newbies when ready in the coop for 2wks or so before letting them mingle. I might try to devise a way to divide the run for the same time period so they can be together in both places. I plan to have multiple feeders and waterers to avoid food fighting.
     
  5. Andiexb

    Andiexb Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 20, 2012
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    I just had a great experience incorporating my young ones into the run. I had an area sectioned off tho with a small coop. I wanted till the "babies" were 15 weeks and after a long period of no touching there was no fighting at all. I mainly did this so that the hens wouldn't eat all of the young ones food, and the young ones didn't eat the layer pellets. But it worked great for the social aspect
     
  6. Feathers n Fur

    Feathers n Fur Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 27, 2012
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    Andiexb - did you have them in a sectioned off area with a small coop for a while then took down the barrier and the small coop or did you leave the small coop up in the run? Just wondring if the chicks every integrated to the main coop or if they remain separate at night.
     
  7. Andiexb

    Andiexb Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 20, 2012
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    the small coop is still in the run. they are all sharing[​IMG], i found eggs in the small coop and the young ones arent laying yet. but last night the little ones were in the small coop to sleep. that might have to do with the fact that there is still a food container in the small coop. after time i think they will all sleep in the big coop (or at least i hope for safety) but im not going to rush the process. last year when i added some full grown hens i had a couple of bloody fights so i am cautious of doing anything too fast
     
  8. Feathers n Fur

    Feathers n Fur Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 27, 2012
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    Thank you. I will consider a small coop in the run. If not then a sectioned spot in the big girl house will work. I'll just have to carry them in one at a time at night for a little while.
     

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