Successful Flock Integration!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by WishboneDawn, Oct 28, 2011.

  1. WishboneDawn

    WishboneDawn Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 19, 2011
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    Whoo hoo!

    We had 6 8-week old, sex link layers a few weeks ago. Two weeks ago we bought an 8'x12' coop that came with 10 heritage breed chickens and my parents gave us 10 more sex link chickens (one was a roo) that a neighbour was getting rid of (they're only a year old. His son moved out and he didn't want the work!). Anyhow that's 3 flocks we had to get together before the cold weather hit. I didn't know about quarantining (we lost one sex link hen, maybe because of that? I know for next time) so we tried them together right off. Ouch. The little Cochin bantam roo went after the huge sex link rooster and my little laying chicks (the Princesses) got picked on something fierce.

    So we kept temporary coops up and free ranged them all together. The sex link roo and his hens LOVE this. They'd never been out of their pen before. Within a couple of days I was able to move the princesses into the coop. Last night, with a weather warning of snow and a drop in temperature I decided to chance it and move ALL the chickens into the coop. Success! No fighting! Darth (the cochin) and Captain (sex link roo) stayed on opposite sides of the coop on their respective roosts and kept out of trouble. This morning the dynamics have slightly shifted and the two flocks seem a little more comfortable with each other.

    Phew! Just in time too as the temporary coop (a small dog run wrapped in tarp) was getting damp and gross anyway and it's definitely starting to feel like winter is sneaking up on us.

    Anyhow, that's 2 weeks to get three flocks comfortable with each other. It probably helped that two of my four roos are not dominant and that we have a good number of hens.
     
  2. WishboneDawn

    WishboneDawn Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 19, 2011
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    Hmmm...I should add that in each case we introduced them at dusk too, after the resident flock had settled down for the night. That probably helped too.
     
  3. so lucky

    so lucky Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 31, 2011
    SE Missouri
    Congratulations! I haven't had to do that yet, but I have read some horror stories on BYC about unsuccessful attempts. Hope your luck continues. [​IMG]
     
  4. hudsonhousechicks

    hudsonhousechicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 2, 2010
    Austin
    Congrats! I added three delawares chicks in July to an existing flock of five. We didn't put them together right off the bat. We had plenty of time and it took a few months before they were all okay with each other. Last night it was chilly so they all hunkered down on the same roost. That was a first. They're smart enough to know how to stay warm, that's for sure.
     
  5. WishboneDawn

    WishboneDawn Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 19, 2011
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    Thanks! They all went into the big coop tonight on their own! The three groups, heritage flock, mature layers and the Princesses all went to different corners but they all went and no fights broke out. The layers didn't seem stressed about the move either and gave us a pile of eggs! Hopefully this is how it will stay. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2011
  6. CrestedGirl

    CrestedGirl Polish Obsessed

    Mar 7, 2011
    Fort Worth, Tx
    Congrats [​IMG]
     

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