When to move into the coop..

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by jenjack72, May 11, 2016.

  1. jenjack72

    jenjack72 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 12, 2015
    Hi, I have a question about moving my young girls in with my older girls. I have six three yr old hens (two Americanas, two leghorn, a Rhode Island Red and a black ostrolarp) I also have four 8 week old girls (two barred rock, two isa brown). I know there needs to be a certain amount of time that they are separated but still can see each other. My husband built a small coop next to the big coop and put chicken wire around it so the Littles can have their own space and the big girls can see them. They are on their third day in the little coop and my big girls are definitely curious. My question is...how long should they be like this? When would be ok to put them all together?
     
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I would wait a couple weeks at least.
    Spread some feed/treats along the fence separating them, than can help get them used to feeding together.
    You might think about joining the runs.

    How big(feet by feet) are the coops?
    Pics and dimensions would really help in making suggestions.



    Here's some notes I've taken on integration that I found to be very helpful.......
    ......take what applies or might help and ignore the rest.
    See if any of them, or the links provided at the bottom, might offer some tips that will assist you in your situation:

    Integration of new chickens into flock.


    Consider medical quarantine:
    BYC Medical Quarantine Article
    Poultry Biosecurity
    BYC 'medical quarantine' search

    It's about territory and resources(space/food/water). Existing birds will almost always attack new ones.
    Understanding chicken behaviors is essential to integrating new birds into your flock.

    Confine new birds within sight but physically segregated from older/existing birds for several weeks, so they can see and get used to each other but not physically interact. Integrating new birds of equal size works best.

    The more space, the better.
    Birds will peck to establish dominance, the pecked bird needs space to get away. As long as there's no blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down, let them work it out. Every time you interfere or remove new birds, they'll have to start the pecking order thing all over again.

    Multiple feed/water stations. Dominance issues are most often carried out over sustenance, more stations lessens the frequency of that issue.

    Places for the new birds to hide out of line of sight and/or up and away from any bully birds.

    In adjacent runs, spread scratch grains along the dividing mesh, best of mesh is just big enough for birds to stick their head thru, so they get used to eating together.

    Another option, if possible, is to put all birds in a new coop and run, this takes the territoriality issues away.

    For smaller chicks I used a large wire dog crate right in the coop for the smallers. I removed the crate door and put up a piece of wire fencing over the opening and bent up one corner just enough for the smallers to fit thru but the biggers could not. Feed and water inside the crate for the smallers. Make sure the smallers know how to get in and out of the crate opening before exposing them to the olders. this worked out great for me, by the time the crate was too small for the them to roost in there(about 3 weeks), they had pretty much integrated themselves to the olders. If you have too many smallers to fit in a crate you can partition off part of the coop with a wire wall and make the same openings for smallers escape.

    Best example ever of chick respite and doors by azygous https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1069595/introducing-chicks-to-adults#post_16276224


    Read up on integration..... BYC advanced search>titles only>integration
    This is good place to start reading:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/adding-to-your-flock
     
  3. jenjack72

    jenjack72 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 12, 2015
    The little coop for sure won't work for long. My girls generally free range in our backyard which is about 2 Acres. And they have their own little fenced yard, as well as the run under their coop. I was thinking of letting them all stay in their fenced yard together for a while every day, with me supervising?
     
  4. jenjack72

    jenjack72 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 12, 2015
    Trying to upload some pics...
     
  5. jenjack72

    jenjack72 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 12, 2015
    [​IMG]
     
  6. jenjack72

    jenjack72 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 12, 2015
    [​IMG]
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Not sure 10 will fit into that large coop....especially if they are not all used to each other.

    You might want to let the chicks wander the fenced yard alone one day, let them get the lay of the land without the bigs bothering them and see if they go back to their little coop when alarmed and/or at night. I'd setup some hiding places for the littles in the fenced yard too.
    Full free ranging can be a good place for 2 groups to meet.

    But meeting outside is way different than sharing the coop, that can be a whole nother story.
     

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