Will they ever get along?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Nicole01, Jun 2, 2011.

  1. Nicole01

    Nicole01 Overrun With Chickens

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    I started the integration process a few days ago. The oldest three are 11 weeks old. The youngest 5 are 4 weeks to 9 weeks old. The older 3 hate the newcomers. I have the babies in a wire dog kennel In the coop and I caught the older ones pecking at the babies through the kennel. This is my first flock. I didn't know chickens were so brutal. They are sweet to us and sit in our lap. I'm most worried for my D'Uccle due to her size. At this rate, it looks like I need hubby to build another coop.[​IMG]

    How long does the integration process usually take?
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2011
  2. stubbornhill

    stubbornhill Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nicole01, How much of a size difference is there between the 4-9week olds and the 11 week olds? You may have to wait until they are a bit more of the same size before you try to intergrate them. Another idea may be to take your 3 older hens and put them in the kennel and let the other ones have the run. Then after a few days, let them out and see what happens.
     
  3. Nicole01

    Nicole01 Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:I did that yesterday for a few hours. Both groups loved being switched. I have to supervise them due to the Mille Fleur being 4 weeks old, she can fit through the wire run if she flies up on the edge. I have 2 four week olds, which there's a pretty big size difference. I put the wire dog kennel in the coop, so they get use to each other. I didn't know all three big girls would peck at the newcomers, I thought maybe just one would. The big girls have been sleeping on top of the dog kennel at night. I have the heat lamp in there for the 4 week olds, so there is 24 hour light. I would imagine that the babies will grow out of the kennel pretty soon. I don't even know if I'm doing this right.

    Next time I will buy all my chicks when they are the same age. Chicken math struck me and I had to have this and that breed.lol. I hope they do eventually get along. There is no way I'd rehome any of them. They are my babies. Tomorrow is suppose to rain, I'll switch the girls around again for the day and keep the run door shut.
     
  4. stubbornhill

    stubbornhill Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh, they will get along fine eventually. I think that with such a size difference, there may be issues. You may need to think about some temporary housing for either the big girls or the little ones until there really isn't a size difference. There will always be a little fussing/fuding until the pecking order gets established. Another thing you may try and maybe you have. As long as you can catch the older ones. Let them all out at the same time, not keeping the younger ones in the kennel. The bigger ones may have been picking at them because they were easy targets penned up. If they are all out, the older ones may be outnumbered and things might change. Of course you would have to have the time to be with them in case things took a turn for the worse, you would need to catch the older ones and separate them. Let us know how you make out! Chickens definately have personalities and what one chicken will do is not always what another one will do. Supervised trial and error! [​IMG]
     
  5. Katydid2011

    Katydid2011 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would wait until they are of similar size. Our sweet pets are prone to cannibalism. When you mix small chicks with older pullets and hens the results can be disastrous.
     
  6. crossgirl

    crossgirl Day Dream Believer

    Mar 15, 2011
    Lakeland, FL
    Quote:This worked (so far) with mine. The 2 RIR's are much, much larger than my 4 banties. I started with both RIR's in their run and the banties in a small wire pen placed next to them so they could see each other and get accustomed. Then I partitioned the coop and moved the banties outside where they would share living quarters but remain seperated. The little ones could go in the run and the big girls had the paddock. Then the little girls were let free of the run and they all shared the paddock. The big girls would go after my banties but the little ones were so much quicker, and smaller, that even if they cornered one away from the others, they couldn't keep it long enough to get a good peck in. I turned the original run, which was never attached to the coop, into a shelter by removing an end panel and replacing it with livestock fencing. The squares are big enough to let the little ones in but keep the RIR's out. I keep a pan of food and water in there since the RIR's weren't letting the little ones eat. I eventually removed the partition in the coop and now everyone goes to bed together at night. Originally the little ones slept on the floor but now they sleep on the same perch as the big girls. Come morning everyone is out in the paddock where they divide up into their groups. The little ones spend the day avoiding the big girls and the big girls spend the day keeping an eye out for an occasion to terrorize a banty. So far, no injuries. It could have ended poorly but so far, no. Now I'm introducing three little polish girls (I hope!!). They're in the wire cage in the paddock and tonight after I partition off the coop they'll spend their first night with the others. They are almost the same size as my banties despite their age difference so I'm hoping they will integrate with the banties. I'd like all my chickens to get along!
     
  7. Nicole01

    Nicole01 Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:This worked (so far) with mine. The 2 RIR's are much, much larger than my 4 banties. I started with both RIR's in their run and the banties in a small wire pen placed next to them so they could see each other and get accustomed. Then I partitioned the coop and moved the banties outside where they would share living quarters but remain seperated. The little ones could go in the run and the big girls had the paddock. Then the little girls were let free of the run and they all shared the paddock. The big girls would go after my banties but the little ones were so much quicker, and smaller, that even if they cornered one away from the others, they couldn't keep it long enough to get a good peck in. I turned the original run, which was never attached to the coop, into a shelter by removing an end panel and replacing it with livestock fencing. The squares are big enough to let the little ones in but keep the RIR's out. I keep a pan of food and water in there since the RIR's weren't letting the little ones eat. I eventually removed the partition in the coop and now everyone goes to bed together at night. Originally the little ones slept on the floor but now they sleep on the same perch as the big girls. Come morning everyone is out in the paddock where they divide up into their groups. The little ones spend the day avoiding the big girls and the big girls spend the day keeping an eye out for an occasion to terrorize a banty. So far, no injuries. It could have ended poorly but so far, no. Now I'm introducing three little polish girls (I hope!!). They're in the wire cage in the paddock and tonight after I partition off the coop they'll spend their first night with the others. They are almost the same size as my banties despite their age difference so I'm hoping they will integrate with the banties. I'd like all my chickens to get along!

    Good luck with the polish girls! I only have one chicken run, but it's 20 feet long and 5 feet wide. I could section off a part of it for a while.

    I just had them all in the run a few minutes ago. My Brahma was the only one staring them down today. The other two were busy taking a dirt bath. Eventually the older girls got up and went in the dog kennel. I shut the door and let the babies out for a while in the run and coop. I think my D'Uccle is not feeling the greatest, she was gasping for air a few minutes ago for 10 minutes straight. Poor thing.

    I wish it wasn't so difficult to integrate. My older girls are lovely and love to be held and petted.
     

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