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When integrate full time?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Smarcebird, Aug 22, 2011.

  1. Smarcebird

    Smarcebird Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 18, 2011
    Durango, CO
    Hey folks!

    Been reading everyone's integration stories & methods. Learned so much! Know that every flock is different, but questioning when to leave my new ladies unsupervised with my originals. Here's my story:

    After some roosters leaving our original 5 girls, I was down to 3. 2 Hens, 1 Roo.

    Found a family with hens the same approximate age as original 3. Got 6 new.

    After quarantine, put new in with originals at night. Watched the next morning, separated before I went to work. They can see each other through the fencing. Some in run, some below the coop area. That night we had to put the new girls up in the coop. Put the on the roost, at the other end of original 3.

    Day 2. Watched in the morning. A little bickering. Mostly the roo. He actually kinda got a butt kicking from one of the new girls. Separated, but the opposite of the day before. Came home a bit early, let 'em all out to free range. Mostly stayed separate. New girls not getting very far from the run/coop. Everyone went up into coop on their own.

    Day 3. My day off! Let everyone free range all day. Gave some treats in the afternoon. Everyone ate together, took dust baths in the same space, and were generally hanging out. A few pecks, again mostly the roo, but nothing bad.

    Day 4. Today. Everyone was great this morning. Eating from the same food/water dishes. A peck once in awhile, no "I need to kill you" behavior. Pretty good coop vibe. Still separated. My DH gets me so worried. "It only takes one day" I would hate to come home to a death by pecking! But they just seem so good.

    Wow - short story long - but when can you be comfortable with leaving them together unsupervised?

    Would love the input. Started a small argument with the DH this morning. Told him I'd ask all you experts, since you're all so awesome!
     
  2. Kountreefok

    Kountreefok Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 12, 2011
    Graceton, MN
    It sounds like you are already doing a great job of easing the transition to integration for them. From what you said I'd fully unify really soon. As they're getting more used to each other what appears to them to be unequal treatment (just about anything...lol) can cause more bickering than it solves. Just keep keeping a close eye.
    Yes, stuff happens--nature has it's way. But, thankfully, we have a really mellow flock where things seem to get corrected, and pecking order processed, with minimal bloodshed.
    If it makes you feel any better it's also been my experience--said with a prayer of gratitude--that when things do get messy there are usually a few "warning beatings" before anything final happens.
    Here's wishing you a peaceful integration!
     

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