Yeah - successfully merged my chicks into the big coop

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by bobbieschicks, Sep 26, 2011.

  1. bobbieschicks

    bobbieschicks Chicken Tender

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    I have been trying to move my now almost 7 week old baby chicks (possibly all pullets - or so we hope [​IMG] ) in with my now 10 week old White Leghorns (4 roos, 1 pullet) since the babies were 4 weeks old.

    Here's how I did it:

    Week 1: Starting with when the chicks were 3 weeks old, I would put the babies into an exercise pen in the run with the WLs and then put the babies back in the house at night into their brooder.

    Week 2: Then when they were 4 weeks old I moved them outside to the right portion of the coop where they had essentially their own mini coop - it was protected from the WLs by chicken wire above and hardware cloth below the roost where the WLs hung out. During the day I took them from their side of the coop and put them into the exercise pen and left them there with food/water while the WLs were free to be in the run and freerange with supervision in the evenings.

    Week 3: Went on vacation - friend took care of chicks - babies were left in their side of coop and WLs were allowed into run only and not freeranged.

    Week 4: Let the babies out each day from their side into the run to mingle with the WLs - if things got intense I'd let the WLs out to freerange awhile and that gave the babies a chance to search into the main coop or run back into their side or just hang out without getting pecked. The WLs were allowed to come and go in the run while I was there, but they were put back into the run when I was done with cleaning/feeding time. The babies had been going into their side of the coop at night by themselves and huddling on the floor and the WLs have been roosting at night inside the main coop.

    Week 5: (this week) Last night I went to the coop after everyone was in bed. I moved the babies one by one into the main coop and put them in the door before it closed at 8:15pm. They chirped a bit, but settled down. The WLs were still awake but did not come down off the roost. This a.m. I went to check on everyone. The door had not opened yet so I have to figure out what I did to it last night to make it not auto open at 6a.m. - but the chicks were all fine. The WLs came down and stood around the food & water. The babies stood up and were the 1st ones out the door when I finally opened it. The babies came out down the plank and the last one promptly got a quick peck by the lead roo who comes out first usually. Then everyone went about their usual chicken duties and seemed fine.

    So I'm calling this successful! Of course tonight will be the key as I plan to leave the babies side closed and only let them into the main coop now. We'll see how that goes [​IMG] I will put the babies into the main coop today when I clean it out so that they know that's their new home and take away the ladder to the other side for now.

    Man this chicken stuff is alot more involved then I thought it would be - I figured they would all just get along...silly me!

    [​IMG]
     
  2. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    [​IMG] I know that feeling of relief when they're finally integrated - my babies have been in "The Big Girl Coop" for the second night now. I used steps very similar to your progression. I think supervision, taking it slowly, and being able to let the bigger birds free range helps A LOT. Congrats on your integration [​IMG]
     
  3. remuda1

    remuda1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Congratulations [​IMG] . I know is got to be a big relief for you. Today I start the real integration between my two flocks. They've been housed next door to eachother with hardware cloth and chicken wire between them for quite a while now. Hopefully it will go as smoothly as yours has [​IMG] . The goal is to have them housed together prior to winter setting in.

    Mine are farther apart in age than yours so I'll be standing at the ready to referee/rescue as needed [​IMG]
     
  4. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    Isn't it fun to see them finally acting like a flock!!!!
     
  5. bobbieschicks

    bobbieschicks Chicken Tender

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    Quote:Did they go in by themselves the 2nd night or did you have to round them up and put them in the big coop? I need to make sure the auto door is functioning on its timer tonight AND make sure the babies make it inside by themselves.
     
  6. bobbieschicks

    bobbieschicks Chicken Tender

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    Quote:That was my plan for our babies - of course now I also have 37 eggs in the incubator (27 silkie and 10 lavender orpington) and I know I won't have 37 chicks hatching - but the thought of having a bunch more over winter! I didn't plan that one too well - LOL!
     
  7. bobbieschicks

    bobbieschicks Chicken Tender

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    Quote:YES![​IMG]
     
  8. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Quote:Did they go in by themselves the 2nd night or did you have to round them up and put them in the big coop? I need to make sure the auto door is functioning on its timer tonight AND make sure the babies make it inside by themselves.

    Well, they've actually been in there four nights, but last night was the 2nd night they did it on their own. The first two nights I had to gather them up and put them in there. They'd been running in and out of the coop during the day, but were piling outside the door of the evening. And it wasn't that my big girls were being mean, because they were all roosting, and nowhere near the doorway. So I'd go inside and squat down so they could see me through the pop door. Usually 2 or 3 would run in then, but I'd still have to go out and get the others. I was so excited when they "put themselves to bed." Of course I'm still using a lamp, so the light inside probably helped drawl them in... We use the auto door too...
     
  9. cjb

    cjb Out Of The Brooder

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    when are babies able to go out into a pen without a mom? I have 22 two week olds, I know they are too young now, but am already looking forward to getting them out of my sewing room so I can quilt..
     
  10. bobbieschicks

    bobbieschicks Chicken Tender

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    Yes! The auto door worked fine once I reset the times and it closed at 8pm. I went out at 8:15 pm and saw the babies huddled on the floor in the corner and the WLs up on the roost - everyone seemed fine with the situation. I don't know how it will be in a couple of weeks when the babies want to roost too - we'll have to see how that will go. Actually by that time I should be at 3 less roosters - so it might go just fine.
     

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