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Question on integrating new young 'ins

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by biteme2134, Oct 6, 2015.

  1. biteme2134

    biteme2134 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've done this a few times, but usually the birds were a bit older when we added new members to the flock.

    We have a flock of about 17 - only about half have molted but all are laying eggs so they're not super old but they have established a pecking order.

    I have 17 that I hatched out and have in a pen that is inside the coop wired in so all can see and not touch.

    They've been in this 4x4 foot pen for a while. While it has 2 levels it's getting a bit small for all of them. They'd turned all my deep litter to sludge and i had to scoop it out one night and re-fill it.

    So my thought is I'll remove the board separating the two sections and let them meet everyone in the morning. They're 10 weeks old so they're about 1/2 to 3/4 the size of the other birds.

    Is this a good idea? Should I move all 17 into the main coop at night so they wake up together instead or just let them figure it out?


    I don't really have anywhere else for them to go that's bigger so it's either this or they'll be confined in this little area longer.
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Runs With Chickens Premium Member

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    I usually move mine out at 6-8 weeks, older hens for the most part leave the young ones alone with only occasionally pecking them. I will put mine in a separate temporary pen and allow everyone to have a look for around a week then I start letting them out together. Locking them separately at night until I'm comfortable with them all together.
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    You could put an opening in the separation barrier that is big enough for the smaller birds but not big enough for the older birds, then the smallers would have a 'refuge' for food/water/rest until they acclimate to the main flock.
    Extra feed/water stations and extra slightly lower roosts in the main coop area would help the transition.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. biteme2134

    biteme2134 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the replies! I've done the separation barrier before... it kind of worked but the young ones just toughed it out in the main flock and never really went back inside the barrier.

    I think I'll try letting them free range together a few nights then see how they act. That should tell if they're going to get along right?
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    They might get along fine out in the yard, but argue about where to roost and who allowed to eat the food if there's only one source.
    Sometimes you have to show the smallers how to use the escape door.
     

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