1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Transitioning new members into the flock is HARD WORK!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by lizi.beth915, Sep 25, 2011.

  1. lizi.beth915

    lizi.beth915 Out Of The Brooder

    54
    0
    39
    Aug 6, 2011
    Harford County, MD
    So my 8 EE babies are finaly old enough to go out to the coop... (YAY [​IMG] no more icky sunroom!) The only trouble is, none of my 17 week old girls like them! I took a couple of the babies outside to introduce them & the big girls would have torn them apart had I let them out of my hands! So I closed up the ramp to the run, put the babies' old brooder box in the run on it's side & threw some leftover roofing rubber from when we made the coop on top of it & they seemed fine.
    I let the big girls out to free range soon after. They all went down to the bottom of the yard to catch bugs underneath the pear tree EXCEPT my ancona. She was just standing there on the other side of the fence making noises and trying to peck at the little ones if any came too close the whole time. GEESH! WHAT A BULLY! [​IMG]

    Does anyone have an idea of when this whole transitional stage will be over? Or any suggestions on how to make it go any smoother?
    It's only day 1 & this is getting pretty old pretty quick. lol.

    Thanks,
    Liz
     
  2. This_chicks_place

    This_chicks_place Chillin' With My Peeps

    436
    4
    113
    Apr 18, 2011
    Upstate NY
    We left our new little ones in a temp. run sharing a common wall with the big girls run for one month. The integration seemed to go pretty good with only the typical pecking order warnings from the older girls.
     
  3. welasharon

    welasharon Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,949
    73
    218
    Jun 28, 2010
    North Florida
    I keep mine a month or so in a wire dog kennel inside the pen. (I have an open air pen/coop) By the time they get big enough to be with the others they are used to them.
    sharon
     
  4. loot4louie

    loot4louie Chillin' With My Peeps

    230
    1
    111
    Mar 10, 2010
    Ringoes NJ
    I put mine in a dog kennel next to the big girls during the day. At night I put them in small crate in the coop. That way they are together at night as well as during the day. I always let them free range their first day together, I dont look them in a small space until they are used to each other. have laid back birds- which may help a lot!!
     
  5. WildBillHicks

    WildBillHicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    174
    3
    91
    Jul 25, 2011
    Durham, North Carolina
    I let my new ones in right away. There are some short fights then a lot of pecking order stuff for a month or so and it's over.
     
  6. lizi.beth915

    lizi.beth915 Out Of The Brooder

    54
    0
    39
    Aug 6, 2011
    Harford County, MD
    Quote:That's what my dad wants me to do.. He says I have to get rid of some of the babies anyways... so I might as well do survival of the fittest...
    I just thought that that would be mean, since the older ones are like 2-3 times their size. I took one of my calmer buff orps in to visit today & even she almost ripped their heads off. Sigh [​IMG]
    I'm just getting tired of taking care of two separate groups of chickens! It's like double the work!
     
  7. WildBillHicks

    WildBillHicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    174
    3
    91
    Jul 25, 2011
    Durham, North Carolina
    lizi.beth915 :

    Quote:That's what my dad wants me to do.. He says I have to get rid of some of the babies anyways... so I might as well do survival of the fittest...
    I just thought that that would be mean, since the older ones are like 2-3 times their size. I took one of my calmer buff orps in to visit today & even she almost ripped their heads off. Sigh [​IMG]
    I'm just getting tired of taking care of two separate groups of chickens! It's like double the work!

    I have two new bantams. They are tiny. The big birds will peck at them around food but they don't chase them around or harass them. Maybe I got lucky.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2011
  8. lizi.beth915

    lizi.beth915 Out Of The Brooder

    54
    0
    39
    Aug 6, 2011
    Harford County, MD
    Okay, so I put 2 of the boys that are going to end up in the freezer anyways in with the big girls, just to test out the theory. lol. Just went & checked on them & they're currently hiding behind the nesting boxes like this: [​IMG] lol. It seems like as long as they have a space to hide when they want, where the big girls cant get to them, they're fine. We'll have to rig something up for the rest of them tomorrow. Thanks, Everyone. [​IMG]
     
  9. PtldChick

    PtldChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    628
    5
    111
    Jun 15, 2011
    Portland, OR
    lizi.beth915 :

    Okay, so I put 2 of the boys that are going to end up in the freezer anyways in with the big girls, just to test out the theory. lol. Just went & checked on them & they're currently hiding behind the nesting boxes like this: [​IMG] lol. It seems like as long as they have a space to hide when they want, where the big girls cant get to them, they're fine. We'll have to rig something up for the rest of them tomorrow. Thanks, Everyone. [​IMG]

    That has worked for me...I have hutches up on cinder blocks and the smaller ones can run under for cover. I have integrated several different age groups this year and find that the lowest in the current pecking order tend to be the biggest bullies, but if the little ones run under the hutch, they leave them alone. For the most part the littler ones stay in or close to the coop area. The bigger ones only peck at them if they come too close around them at the food or water, and most ignore them. I also have a rather large run (450 sq ft) with different 'areas' so the chickens aren't right on top of each other. I think that helps everyone get along better.

    I will echo previous posters that I first move the smaller ones out into the hutches in the coop before I let them out. The birds are used to seeing each other for a while before they are physically together.​
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by