When can I combine flocks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by ccmarie, Dec 29, 2012.

  1. ccmarie

    ccmarie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 31, 2008
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    I have two separate batches of chicks. The older ones are now 8 weeks old. There's four sexlinks, two maran pullets, and three maran cockerels (who will be finding a new home when they start crowing. The younger batch are 4 weeks old right now. They're Delawares, and I think there's four boys and two girls. They are a lot less flighty than the first batch and they've been picking on each other more than the older ones have-- the older chicks are not aggressive at all and don't really bother each other, while I had to separate a couple of the little ones because they were getting bloody tails.
    My indoor brooder is starting to get crowded, so we're thinking of moving the brooder into/next to the coop as soon as the little guys can handle it. I know they're too little to go outside now, especially in the "cold" (we live in Yuma AZ, so cold means 40s at the lowest).
    Anyway, at what age could we mix the two flocks together? Thanks.
     
  2. Druantai

    Druantai Out Of The Brooder

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    I live in Florida and I combined my flock gradually. I just placed the brooder inside the coop that way everyone can meet in safety. Also you van schedule playdates and just watch them for a free hours and see how they interact
     
  3. ccmarie

    ccmarie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay, I think we'll get started on that right after the New Year's stuff is over. So we'll start introductions through the fence at about five weeks.
     
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    I combine flocks of juveniles frequently. Process is consistent where once introductions made birds are kept together, no going back to own corners.

    Have younger flock in its own home pen. If they are larger in number, then add all larger chicks to their home base at once. Bigger birds will still cause little guys some grief but not nearly as bad as placing smaller birds in pen of bigger birds. A neutral location can also be used.

    If big guys prove to be aggressive to smaller which in house aggression is not a good predictor of, then add the dig guys singly to pen of smaller birds. You may need make so subsequent additions are at one day intervals. This makes so previously introduced big guys defend smaller guys from later introduced big guys.
     
  5. ccmarie

    ccmarie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Makes sense. The problem is, I don't think the bigger chicks would fit into the smaller cage. I guess we can use a third area.
     
  6. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Will new or largest area be able to accommodate all?
     
  7. ccmarie

    ccmarie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I can move the brooder outside, but it's only big enough for the smaller chicks, and even then they're out-growing it fast. The coop the older chicks are in has space for 8 full-grown hens. I was thinking I could introduce them in our fenced backyard, since it's neutral territory. Lots of space there, I'll just have to put them back in the coop/brooder at night.
     
  8. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    The introduction process is not over minute or hours, rather days. During process larger birds will be harder on smaller ones. Can you acquire a for a couple days a coop to contain larger birds while smaller ones are acclimated to larger coop? Move things around in larger coop so larger birds upon thier return do not recognize it as home.


    Sometimes I can get away with simply moving things around in larger coop at about same time new / smaller birds are added.
     
  9. Azriel

    Azriel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've never had much problem combining chicks, but 2 months is getting pretty big. Could you fit a few of the older chicks in the brooder? If so, maybe you could put the brooder in the coop with the babies in it for a few days, then pick out maybe 3 or 4 of the nicest of the bigger ones to leave out, turn the babies loose with them and lock the not as nice older ones up for maybe a week or so untill the little ones seem to be doing OK, then let the ones that have been locked up out in the pen 1 by 1 over the course of a few days. Its more work that way, but should work with no one getting picked on too much.
    Good Luck
     
  10. ccmarie

    ccmarie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I put the brooder beside the coop for about a week. Then today I threw some scratch on the ground and opened both coops. For awhile they were mingling and doing just fine. A couple of the bigger chicks got into the brooder and poked around. But after a few minutes one of my blue marans hens started attacking the little chicks. From watching them I sure didn't think she was very dominant, but she would chase them down and tear into them. I think it was just her, but it could have been both of my marans hens. Any advice for dealing with her/them?
     

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