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Toyed With Integration Today

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by bobbi-j, May 4, 2016.

  1. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    My chicks are now approximately 4 weeks old. They are in one side of my coop, the 6 hens sleep in the other side. (The hens' side also has the pop door going out to the run) As I was doing chores this evening, I thought, "Let's see what happens if a couple of hens go in to visit the chicks." So, I opened the door between the two pens (I had the gate to the run closed in case some of the chicks got adventurous, and two of the hens were locked in the coop/run). One of my two barred rock hens and my generic reddish brown hen moseyed on into the chick pen. They were more interested in the feeder and waterer (although they have their own feed and water) than they were in the chicks. A couple of chicks came over to see what was going on, and the BR gave each of them a stern peck, but didn't go after them. They peeped and ran away and she went about her business exploring their pen. She did find an old apple that I had tossed in there for the chicks, but they hadn't figured out what to do with it so she and the brown hen had a treat. Again, a couple of chicks came over to share and she gave them each a peck and off they went. Maybe tomorrow I'll put another couple of hens in with them for a few minutes to see how they do. (I haven't gotten around to building panic doors yet... Maybe if I just keep exposing them a few at a time there won't be too much trouble. I have 30 chicks vs. 6 three year old hens)
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    That's how first introductions tend to go. Personally I like to lift a part of the separation pen so the chicks can squeeze under, sometimes they can't find a doorway. I will start letting the chicks have an adventure while I watch the first few times, returning them back to their side when I can't watch anymore. With that many chicks to hens it should go easier.
     
  3. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    That's kind of what I was thinking. The fencing in my pen is pretty firmly attached at the bottom, so I don't think I'll lift it up. That's a good idea, though. Since I only have room to make one panic door, I might just wait until they're older for a full integration, while letting them mingle - a couple of the older hens at a time. I haven't decided for sure yet what I'm going to do. Not ready to let them out to free range anytime soon. I'm still working and I don't quite trust the dog. Once summer vacation starts, I can be around to supervise more.
     
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  4. BYOBirds

    BYOBirds New Egg

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    New to BYC. I have been wanting chickens for a while and finally pulled the plug, built a coop and a 14x14 run. I got two domineckers (from what I've researched they seem to be barred rock) that are just about ready to start laying. A week later because we wanted more birds I bought 4 light brahma chicks. My kids are crazy about them. My question is should I be concerned if the 2 older birds are barred rock instead of Dominique or will the brahmas be ok once old enough to introduce into the coop/run?
     
  5. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    Breeds don't matter, just try not to mix large breeds and bantams and be careful adding crested birds to those without crests. Brahma and barred rocks are fine.
     
  6. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    x2
     
  7. BYOBirds

    BYOBirds New Egg

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    Thanks for the info. I was starting to build a new coop in my mind already lol but now I can stop. I think the mind building a coop is more exhausting than actually building one!
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I used the little doors. Chicks to coop at 1 wk, doors opened at about 4 weeks.
    Mingling went good, no drama, or beatings, or chick deaths.
    But a week or so later the chicks are keeping quite apart from adults,
    they don't spend much time at all in the main run,
    which is quite disappointing as I worked my butt off getting smaller mesh installed in there.
    Maybe not enough hiding places out there.....or the only pop door is too intimidating.
    Will see how it progresses.
     
  9. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    My chicks stay away from the adults for about a year. By two years they will mingle together. They never do appreciate any hard work done for them either. It takes about a month before the chicks start to feel more comfortable and confident and to know where to run.
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
     
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