Putting the Big Girls in with the Little Girls

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by sunflower4you, Aug 14, 2014.

  1. sunflower4you

    sunflower4you Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 22, 2014
    I have two black australorp pullets that are 11 weeks old in my main coop. Two weeks ago I purchased 3 easter egger pullets that are 15 weeks old and I put them in a temporary coop (dog crate in a chicken wire run) to give the two flocks time to adjust to each other before putting them together.

    Friday night I plan on putting the 3 big girls (EEs) in the coop after bedtime. I will stick them on the roost. I am doing this on a Friday since I have off Saturday and Sunday and can monitor. The big girls are quite a bit larger than the little girls even though they are a month apart in age. They have been living in separate quarters for two weeks, but they can see each other through the wire.

    I have read so many things here about chickens attacking each other when you try to integrate, but mostly it is putting smaller chicks in with adults. Will it be easier putting the bigger chickens in with the littler ones? The little ones "own" the coop right now so I am hoping that will make the big ones more submissive since it will be a new coop for them.
     
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    It's about territory, size/age just helps keep the odds even for the pecking/fighting that will occur.....hard to say what will happen in this circumstance, I'd be on hand when they wake up or first introduce them in a large run if it provides more space.

    All the usual rules for integration still apply so I'll paste my usual blurb in here:


    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. Integrating new birds of equal size works best.

    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 blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down, 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 to hide out of line of sight and/or up and away from bully birds.


    Read up on integration..... BYC advanced search>titles only>integration
     
  3. sunflower4you

    sunflower4you Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 22, 2014
    Thanks for the advice. I put the bigs in with the littles after they all went to bed. I also left the coop door open so they can explore the run when they wake up. An extra waterer and some ripe sunflower heads in the run to keep them busy.
     
  4. sunflower4you

    sunflower4you Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just to let you know how it turned out...I was up before the chickens since I was nervous about how they would get along. I bet I sat outside for an hour just watching them after they came out into the run. I did not intervene because I wanted them to work it out so I just observed. The big girls actually picked on the little girls even though the big girls were new to the coop. Probably a size thing. They would peck the littles on the head and chase them into a corner for a little while. But no blood draw or anything too mean, thankfully. By day two the littles were actually laying by the big girls in the run, although they have mostly been staying in two separate flocks. I was happy to see last night they were actually roosting together! Not so bad! [​IMG]
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Sounds pretty good. good job!
     

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