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When and How to integrate

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by ccchicken, Apr 5, 2007.

  1. ccchicken

    ccchicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 19, 2007
    SF Bay Area
    I am in the process of building a coop (photos to be posted once it's done!) and will soon be adding my RI reds who are 20 weeks old. I also have 5 chicks ranging from 5-7 weeks - when do you think I should start introducing them to the big girls in the coop and how do I do this without any of my sweet little ones being in danger? [​IMG]
     
  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Oh, you have quite a while to go. The best time is when the little ones are closer to the size of the big ones and can run and/or defend themselves. The Rhode Island Red girls I have are extra mean to little ones, especially the RIR at the bottom of the pecking order. She is awful to anyone that comes after her. I wouldn't try in earnest till they're around 12 weeks old or so, but go by how large they are compared to the Big Girls. My Buff Orps are more motherly toward smaller chicks, but not the RIR street gang, LOL!
     
  3. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    ccchicken....at 8 weeks old, they should be feathered out completely, and be ready to be outside, if the weather is warm. You might want to build them a seperate "pen" inside the coop...where they can all see each other, and talk...for a few days...see how they react. Then....when you do release them, watch the others closely...make sure the pecking does not get out of hand. There will be SOME pecking...to get the "pecking order" set in place. Some say introduce them at night...so they all wake up together...I have not tried this..so I cant tell how good it works. Good luck...Im sure it will all work out just fine!
     
  4. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    Quote:[​IMG]

    I was thinking the same thing...my RIR hens are meanies!!
     
  5. ccchicken

    ccchicken Out Of The Brooder

    37
    5
    34
    Mar 19, 2007
    SF Bay Area
    I am getting ready to put the younger ones in the coop now - they are over 18 weeks now - am really concerned about doing it. Am I going to lose one? Will there be bloodshed? [​IMG] Any tips out there? The ones in the coop are 2 RIRs and the ones going in are 2 EEs and 1 RIR.
     
  6. ChickenDawg

    ChickenDawg Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 21, 2007
    GA
    Introduce them when you have enough time to supervise. That way if things get too ugly you can step in. There will likely be some "pecking" as the older hens let the younger ones know who's boss. Just use your best judgement regarding their behaviors towards each other and you should be fine. Good luck![​IMG]
     
  7. ccchicken

    ccchicken Out Of The Brooder

    37
    5
    34
    Mar 19, 2007
    SF Bay Area
    How long will it take for them all to settle down>? Is there a better time of day to do it?
     

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