Quarantine: Fail - Flock Integration: Not looking too Good

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Southern Dad, Jul 29, 2014.

  1. Southern Dad

    Southern Dad In the Brooder

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    My Coop
    We had only three Bantum hens. They've been together since they were one day old. Last Friday, I got five more hens from another user here. The plan was solid, quarantine the new hens by having them live in the greenhouse for two weeks then move them to the chicken coop. It sounded good in theory. Unfortunately, a certain five-year-old thought they were lonely and introduced the flock. Damage done, quarantine useless. However, good news is that everyone seems healthy. They've been together for four days and no oddities.

    The hens are not integrating. I know it's only been a few days but I really hoped they'd get social. The three Bantums we already had are five months old, just started laying. They are still laying, no issues there. At night all the hens go into the coop together without issue. The three Bantum hens that we already had take the top perch together. Then the three larger hens from the new group take the lower perches. The Silkie however finds a corner away from the others and sleeps. The little banny insists on roosting on a very high bar in the run area.

    During the daytime is a different story. When I let the free range, all is good. They all go out exploring and all you see is chicken butts all over as they peck away. When they are in the coop and run, the new hens stay in the coop and the three established hens stay in the run. There aren't any fights other than an occasional peck, but they just don't seem to want to socialize.

    Think they'll eventually start talking? I'm looking forward to 8 hens having a hen party. Note, there is no rooster.
     

  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

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    That's the way chicken flock dynamics work. Eventually they'll socialize but it can take a long time and the originals will always be best friends and the new ones will flock together.

    Bringing in bigger and more new birds was your best move.
     
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  3. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Free Ranging Premium Member

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    x2
     
  4. Realtree4

    Realtree4 Chirping

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    So when my sister in law added new chickens, it was rough for her.....so my brother built a large run for them. But then the hens would be in the run and the pullets in the coop, then the pullets in the run and the hens in the coop. The hens would NEVER allow the pullets on the roost, they stayed completely seperate!

    Fast forward 2 months later to the Fourth of July....my brother loves fireworks and decided to set a bunch off....right by the coop! Afterwards, she checked on the chickens and they were all snuggled together on the roost!!! Hens and pullets :) And have been getting along ever since! It takes time, you're more fortunate to be able to free range and give them space. They'll decide when it's time to accept each other and as long as there's not any blood....I'd say that so far it's a success ;)
     

  5. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

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    Cold weather will also combine a flock. Next spring, they will be one flock, until then they should all get together in the run, but they will be in two bunches, the old and new. It just takes time, and really there is little rushing it.

    Mrs K
     
  6. Southern Dad

    Southern Dad In the Brooder

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    My Coop
    I appreciate all those with experience chiming in. One hen is a Rhode Island Red. She is pretty close in coloring and size to two of our original Bantums. What is funny, is they let her come around a little but not roost. I almost think they are confused by her coloring. I just checked the Chicken Cam, as usual two eggs, so egg production is still going.
     
  7. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

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    If you think about it. If you lived on an island for a couple years with two life long friends and 5 more people shipwrecked on the island, how long would it take to become friends with the newcomers.

    ETA
    Especially with some huge predators lurking about stealing your eggs.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2014
    1 person likes this.

  8. Southern Dad

    Southern Dad In the Brooder

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    Yes, I am stealing those eggs. I see the idea.
     
  9. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

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    We often take chickens for granted as egg laying machines we can manipulate. But in the end, they're individuals with likes, dislikes, needs and wants - just like you and I.
     

  10. Southern Dad

    Southern Dad In the Brooder

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    My Coop
    [​IMG]

    I went out tonight to do the chicken count before closing the door to the coup & run of the night. I love letting them free range part of the day. The third chicken from the left is the Rhode Island Red (new hen) up there with our three old hens. Inside the coop, I discovered all but the Silkie on the roost below this one. This top really isn't supposed to be a roost but it's chicken's favorite spot for the night.

    You can also see our Chicken Cam that watches the nesting boxes up top. Of course, at nighttime I usually get a great view of the back of a hen's head.
     

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