Tried integrating and failed :(

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by marlene, Oct 16, 2011.

  1. marlene

    marlene Songster

    Aug 17, 2011
    Yesterday i tried integrating 1 lonely chick, he is 2 months old. One of the hens i have was being very nasty and constantly chased and pecked the chick so i put her in time out for most of the day, while in time out the chick wandered around without a problem. I let the hen out of time out a few hours before dusk so i could watch and see if it had made any difference, she did seem a little calmer towards the chick but after a while she reverted back to the constant pecking and chasing the chick away. At dusk they all went in and seemed calm so i put the chick up to roost, i checked a while later and all seemed ok so i left the chick in there for the night.
    When i went to let them out this morning the chick was wedged in a tiny corner between the brooder and wall, before i had even finished trying to get the chick out the hen was there trying to get to it, so i put the chick back in the brooder for now as i'm not sure what to do. There is 2 other chicks that are 3 months old in the coop and they too are chased and pecked a lot by the hen (who is their mother), they seemed used to it and just run when they see her coming.
    All suggestions and ideas gratefuly welcomed.

  2. chick007

    chick007 secretagent chickenman

    Sep 25, 2011
    anchorage, alaska
    try intergrating at night, slip him in at night. or possibly put him /her in her own box for a few nights toget everyone used to one anotheryou have to make the hen at the top of pecking order reguess her authority. it wiil take more than a few hours to correct top hen, longer time out. say couple days. keep trying it will get better
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2011
  3. kittykat01

    kittykat01 In the Brooder

    Sep 4, 2011
    How long have you been trying to integrate the new chick? It can take a few weeks....

    I would try putting the chick in a dog crate or similar within the coop at night rather than on the roost at this stage. When you let the chickens out to run is it possible to fence off a small portion of the run for the chick so that the new and old chickens can see but not injure one another? Let the adults get to know the chick for a few days/ weeks before you let them have (supervised) 'play dates'. If that goes well, then it should be ok to leave the new chick in with the adults at night. My adult hens loathed my new 4wk olds when I first introduced them to one another. I used the above method for 2 weeks and they are now fully integrated and get on really well with one another.
  4. Gypsy07

    Gypsy07 Songster

    Feb 4, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland
    Do you have a spare coop or big dog crate or anything available so you could remove the pecker for a while. If there's just one hen causing the problems, I'd take her out and let the little chick settle in before returning Mrs Nasty to the main coop...
  5. marlene

    marlene Songster

    Aug 17, 2011
    The chick has been in the coop for 2 weeks in a rabbit hutch and in a rabbit run within the main run so it's not like they have'nt seen each other before.
    I have got some where to put the naughty hen and i did put her in time out for nearly the whole day yesterday so the chick could wonder around peacefully, no sooner i let her out she was chasing him and pecking.
    I will try again tomorrow, if she is still terrorising the chick how long should i put her in time out? and do i repeat this process till she accepts the chick?
    I got another 2 sets of chicks that i have to introduce when they are old enough and i'm dreading it now.

  6. marlene

    marlene Songster

    Aug 17, 2011
    Does anyone know how long i should keep the hen in isolation? Like i said in pevious post i tried it for almost a whole day and it did not make a difference.
  7. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Crowing Premium Member

    It does take almost a full week, most times, for the excitement to subside. But there are things to help this process.

    1. I don't bother trying to integrate until the "chick" is 16-18 weeks old, or a physically as large as the other hens in the coop. It just isn't a fair fight unless the new pullet has the size, confidence and weight to push back. Chicken politics are brutal. I like to see a fair fight.

    2. Introduction through a cage wall or netting helps, but the days finally comes when the cage gets opened or the netting of separation comes down. See #1.

    3. Taking out the "boss" or "bosses" helps a lot. It shakes things up. There is always a dominant hen or two. If these are also removed for that week of integration, things go smoother, because the entire pecking order is uneasy.

    But, tough it is. Chickens are brutal about their social ordering of things.
  8. Erica

    Erica Songster

    Dec 5, 2010
    I agree with Fred's Hens. Integrating them at adult size is the safest way, but if you don't want to wait that long, I would take the hen out for 2 weeks while the recently added chick integrates with the other chicks. When the hen comes back in, the other chicks will at least be a bonded group, and individuals won't be picked on as much.

    best wishes

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