Seeking wisdom on another chick integration question

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by JackieC5480, Jun 10, 2019.

  1. JackieC5480

    JackieC5480 In the Brooder

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    I have 3 year-old Polish Crested beauties that have been looking at my new group of 33 seven-week-old bantams, mostly all feather-footed, for nearly three weeks through a chicken wire barrier. I have read that they should be older to integrate, but does anyone think it might work out ok?
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician

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    You can try - it depends upon the temperament of the birds involved. Only remove a portion of the barrier and be prepared to replace if all Hades breaks out.
     
  3. Hayduke27

    Hayduke27 Songster

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    Yes, give it a try. When they have been looking at each other for that long there's a good chance they may all just merge together with minimal drama. However, you need to closely supervise them, as you just never know...
     
  4. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

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    33 chicks, are going to be a lot of chicks to chase. That many should spread out the pecking, I would think you are good to go. But do keep an eye on them.
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Depends on space available too.
    Am chuckling at the thought of corralling 33 seven week olds.
    Might be easier to put the 3 older birds behind the barrier.

    @JackieC5480 how much space do you have?
    Some pics would help.


    Here's some tips that might help about....
    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.

    Oh, and....Welcome to BYC!
    Where in this world are you located?
    Climate, and time of year, is almost always a factor.
    Please add your general geographical location to your profile.
    It's easy to do, (laptop version shown), then it's always there!
    upload_2019-6-11_7-34-47.png
     
  6. JackieC5480

    JackieC5480 In the Brooder

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    Excelsior, Minnesota
    What excellent feedback - so encouraging for my first post! I tried them together for 30 minutes or so yesterday evening. The Buff Laced Polish Bantams can’t really see but straight in front of them, (all those head feathers), so pecking was a minimum. I think I will do it for good on Saturday, when I have the whole day to watch them. My total pen area is about 15 x 15 ft. I so appreciate the tips on putting scratch down at the barrier point, making hiding spots, and another feeding station. Thank you! I will post this weekend to let you know how it all went!
     
    D-Bar-B and aart like this.
  7. D-Bar-B

    D-Bar-B Songster

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    I have 7 8-week olds that have been in their outside coop (that's within the same run as my older hens) since they were 4 weeks old. They've been getting some run-time in the evenings after I put the older girls up...but am also considering trying them all together on Saturday. I'm hoping we don't need to separate the run :)
     
  8. JackieC5480

    JackieC5480 In the Brooder

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    Mar 30, 2019
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    I’m happy to report that all is well; the integration is now two days in, and there have been no serious incidents of the larger Polish bantam hens beating up on the now-8-week olds. Hurray! The dominant gal is certainly asserting herself, though. She will charge every young one she encounters for a few steps, peck them if she can, but doesn’t chase so they just skitter away. The advice I received to have them looking at each other for a couple of weeks, and sprinkling their feed at the barrier fence was really valuable. Thank you, BYC readers! I’ve posted a pic of their coop..... 9F5AC0D1-6D68-4A02-94B9-CC254AE610AA.jpeg
     

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