Tips on integrating flocks??

May 21, 2022
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Tennessee
I have 4 ducks, 2 turkeys, 6 BO (3 f, 3m), 2 cochin (f) in their run together.

My Orps hit 18wks yesterday.
My cochins are 16wks.

I also have in my chicken tractor 8 cochin hens that are 12wks.

In a separate pen I have 6 misc breeds that are 6 almost 7wks old.

The plan is to incorporate the 8 with the big flock.
Let the 6 have the tractor till they’re 12wks or whenever is best.

Atm the big coop is being built. We should have it done this week.

Could we incorporate them when we move them all into it.
I read messing up the pecking order is best. So would putting the cochins in before them & then placing them in there for night be a good idea??

(Turkeys have their own pen & ducks will soon too. So not concerned with them.)

Send advice!! Lol
 
I think that would work best everyone in new digs all at one time. Or you can put your youngest birds in there a day or two ahead, let them explore, and then near dark add the older birds. It is a huge help that you are adding equal numbers to equal numbers. I would expect this to go pretty well.

I posted years ago a post on a cluttered run, which is a great help with integration and adds considerable interest and exercise to your run.

https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/a-cluttered-run.1323792/

I would strongly recommend putting the cockerels in one of the empty smaller runs and leave them there until the hens are laying.

Mrs K
 
I think that would work best everyone in new digs all at one time. Or you can put your youngest birds in there a day or two ahead, let them explore, and then near dark add the older birds. It is a huge help that you are adding equal numbers to equal numbers. I would expect this to go pretty well.

I posted years ago a post on a cluttered run, which is a great help with integration and adds considerable interest and exercise to your run.

https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/a-cluttered-run.1323792/

I would strongly recommend putting the cockerels in one of the empty smaller runs and leave them there until the hens are laying.

Mrs K
Thank you!

I need to clutter up my run! Didn’t even think of stuff like that. But not like we don’t have probably 50+ pallets laying around atm due to the coop build. Lol

Should I just go ahead & add my youngest ones to the group too? Or wait till they’re a bit bigger?

RE Separating the cockerels:
Is that to stop mating until they’re ready? Or something else I have t thought of?
 
Yes, I would put the 7 weeks in first, maybe two or three days, give them a mock chase once or twice, so that they scurry to the hideouts. Then I would add everyone else very close to dark when you are going to be home the next day to make sure periodically they are doing ok.

They will wake up in a strange place to everyone, that will help. I don't lock mine in the coop, but rather lock them in the coop/run. So mine can go outside or inside as they wish.

As to the roosters, the sap will be rising, and none of the pullets will be ready for several more weeks. I would wait to add back the cockerel until the youngest birds are laying. Cockerels can be very hard on smaller and younger pullets.

If I have the count right, 22 eventual hens - I would really only plan on one rooster. Roosters are often a crap shoot, without older birds to teach them some manners, they often become bullies. They are so outgoing, that people fall in love with them, but most inexperienced people vastly underestimate the violence of roosters fighting roosters, roosters attacking hens, or roosters attacking children and adults. IMO flock mates seldom turn out. At 18 weeks, the good times are about to be over.

I would plan tentatively to keep one, but if you get a way to re-home all of them, do it. Roosters take quite a bit of experience in my opinion.

Mrs K
 
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