Playpen Brooder Inside the Regular coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by lg2006, Apr 13, 2018.

  1. lg2006

    lg2006 In the Brooder

    Jan 13, 2018
    Hey Guys! I have 4 chicks that are now about 8 weeks old and I want to move them outside so they have more room to grow. I am thinking of constructing a smaller portion inside my run for them to get to know the bigger chickens before putting them all together. After that it could be used to quarantine a sick chicken. What are your thoughts? Will this work? When do you normally mix your chicks with your hens? Anybody have pictures of their set up they can share?
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop

    Integration Basics:
    It's all about territory and resources(space/food/water).
    Existing birds will almost always attack new ones to defend their resources.
    Understanding chicken behaviors is essential to integrating new birds into your flock.

    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.

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

    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 copious blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down and beaten unmercilessly, 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'(but not a dead end trap) and/or up and away from any bully birds. Roosts, pallets or boards leaned up against walls or up on concrete blocks, old chairs tables, branches, logs, stumps out in the run can really help. Lots of diversion and places to 'hide' instead of bare wide open run.
    PouleChick and lg2006 like this.

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