reassurance on integrating new chickens into existing flock.

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by sharol, Aug 20, 2011.

  1. sharol

    sharol Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 13, 2010
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    I have 6 one year old hens (GLW, EE, 2 Delawares, Welsumer, and Golden Campine (the head hen)). 2 are molting. I also have 5 16 week olds (4 ee's and a BO). At this point they are in separate coops, but they free range in the same yard all day. I am seeing some bullying, but nothing too serious. The little girls (who are almost as big as the big girls) are leery of the big girls, but they are learning their place and wait for treats until the big girls are done. The last couple of days, I've been shutting them ALL in the big girls' run at the same time for an hour or so to acclimate them to the future quarters. The little girls already hang out in the run during their free-range time, so they like it there.

    My plan is to gradually move them (increasing the run time together) all into the big girls' coop/run so that I can put the tractor where the little girls sleep away for the fall.

    I thought I would have until October to pull this off, but I am going to have to fly to Nevada the 13th of September leaving my DH to look after the chickens for a week. I really need everyone in ONE coop/run by that time so that he will have manageable chicken chores in the morning before he leaves for work and so the younger birds won't be confined in a small area all day while he is gone. I have to have this done in time that EVERYONE understands about going to bed in the big coop, too. I'm thinking that by the 29th of September, I should be able to put them all on the same feed (the little girls will be 17 weeks by then), so that is my goal for moving them in together.

    Am I going about this the right way (gradually integrating them)?

    They will be moving into a 6x8 coop with lots of roost space (12 ft. at about 4' off the ground and another 6 feet at 2' up) and multiple feeders and waterers. They will be shut in the coop overnight, but out in the run during the day.
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

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    Sounds good! They are nearly integrated now, from the sound of it. eta -- there isn't a "right" way, really, just as no two sets of flock dynamics are identical.

    You can solve the feed problem now by getting a bag of flock raiser or grower and putting out oyster shell separately, if you wish. This is how I've fed my flock for most of a year now, and my shells are fine. For some reason, the younger pullets don't mess with the oyster shell.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2011
  3. sharol

    sharol Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 13, 2010
    Admire, KS
    The flock raiser is what I have been using in the "mutual" areas -- runs and the like. I've been covering the medicated grower (almost gone, thank goodness) and the little chickens aren't going in the big girls' coop yet, so the layer feed hasn't been a problem. I'll do that. I'll swap out the layer feed for flock raiser for a few weeks until everyone is laying. Thanks for the idea. They do have shell available all the time.

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