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When to integrate.(long post)

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by unbaked pegga, Apr 24, 2018.

  1. unbaked pegga

    unbaked pegga Songster

    Nov 22, 2014
    Mt Juliet Tn
    I have 1 australorp and 2 speckled Sussex chicks 10-12 weeks old. I have them in a large dog crate and they have lived there since the first of March. I keep sand on the floor and make sure water is clean and fresh and changed daily. I pull the cage out of the garage when the weather is sunny. We have had more rain than I ever thought we could. In the back yard I have 3 very large, very opinionated orpingtons. Between 2 and 3 years old. The chick(ens) as of yet are not even HALF the size of the orps. I have tried to think of ways to introduce everyone. The cage is incredibly heavy. I drug it out into the back yard once. The grown girls didn't even come close to the chicks to investigate. Before I got the chicks I bought dog crate wheels. I applied them as directed and the weren't stable at all. So I tried securing them with wood and wire. The one time I pulled them into the back yard the wheels folded under and were useless in addition to acting as "brakes". By the time I finally got them into the backyard I about had a double hernia and the chicks were close to a nervous breakdown. I want so bad to integrate them into the flock and I dont think I am being too conservative in saying the others would seriously hurt them. Like I said they aren't even half the size of the others and they are big and bossy. The cage is too big to put in the run and I am going to HAVE to find a way to get stable wheels on it. But in the meantime I have been noticing quite a few feathers at the bottom of the cage in the mornings so I dont know I'd they are bored or just sick of being in that cage. Yesterday I filled a treat ball with freeze dried soldier flies and hung it from the top of the cage as a boredom buster. I do go out and visit with them frequently. How big should they be and how to introduce them. I dont know how good an idea it would be to put them in there at night and let everybody wake up together. They aren't that clueless I dont think. Sorry for the long post
  2. Spartan22

    Spartan22 Crowing

    Sep 2, 2014
    Canton, Ohio
    They should be almost the same size to integrate them totally, especially what your thinking putting them in by night and wake up together. Now you can gradually introduce them at this point since their 3 months old? Have a divider in the coop or the run, then few weeks later put them in together.
    I couldn’t imagine logging in and out a big crate, is there a way you place the crate on a tarp and drag the tarp on the grass? Would be easier than those flimsy wheels. The tarp will slide easy on the grass or soil. Hope will work out, if you were closer I would had help you physically.
    jeepgrrl likes this.
  3. unbaked pegga

    unbaked pegga Songster

    Nov 22, 2014
    Mt Juliet Tn
    Well that was a very nice offer. If you were closer I would let you too! I don’t quite know how much o separate the run. If I had a door on that end of the run it would make it so easy, but t I don’t. Just so it won’t hurt them or make them sick I am in no huge hurry to get them all together. I just wasn’t sure if I should have by now. That brings me a measure of relief because someone told me they should be integrated. I will buy a tarp and see if that will work. It is one heavy cage I can tell you that. I want
    to have them in the back yard every day so they can see one another but not get physical. The are presently staying in the garage and they are smelly and make a huge mess. Plus I have to squeeze past everything because it is so crowded. If I had growth hormones I would give that to them
    jeepgrrl and Spartan22 like this.
  4. merrily-meredy

    merrily-meredy In the Brooder

    Mar 21, 2018
    I read where sometimes the small birds seem less of a threat so integrating earlier can be better idea... just something I read.
    I have 3 different sets of chickens right now of varying ages and sizes. I tried combining 6 week old bantam chicks with 10 week old standard chicks and they started fighting. I immediately separated them. Now I have another set of 4 standard chicks who are 2-4 weeks old (close to same size as my older bantams) and I tried integrating them with my 6 week old bantams and that went over FLAWLESSLY! The bantams eyed them and never pecked them once. If anything the bantams wanted to get away from the fiesty messy chicks lol.
    jeepgrrl likes this.
  5. sheetmetaltom

    sheetmetaltom Songster 5 Years

    Aug 4, 2013
    my last batch of chicks i put out at about 6/7 weeks, they were separate from my flock but they could see each other. by 10/11 weeks i put them together. i always do it by putting new birds in at night when everyone is on roost. during the day the new girls will usually stay together with occasional forays close to the older hens. this has worked for me each time ive added (4 times) to my flock. my new girls are always smaller then the older hens, i have no room or patience to wait 20 weeks to put two flocks together. twice i put them together without them ever seeing each other. i just brought them out at night and put them on the roost so everyone wakes up together. theyve never been older then 12 weeks.
    jeepgrrl likes this.

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