The start of integration

Today I decided to let the chicks mix with the flock and see how it would go. I first opened the hatch and directed the chicks out into the bigger part of the run as I didn’t want them to get cornered in their smaller part.

I took away their dishes as I knew the bigger girls would scratch soil into them. I closed the little coop as I didn’t want to risk them getting trapped in there and I opened up the corner by the patio area to give them an escape route.

Then I opened up the gate to see what would happen. Of course the flock were keen to get into the chicks area as it was suddenly new to them after being unavailable for a week.

The chicks were quite adventuress and soon explored the bigger part of the run. They then moved up to where the rest of the flock were. Most of the girls didn’t take any notice of the chicks.

Spangle was the only one who chased them a couple of times. I wasn’t too surprised at this as Spangle recently had spats with Marmite and Salmon so she already wanted to move up the pecking order. It made sense that she needed to show the chicks they were below her in the pecking order.

There was very little notice taken of the chicks and we felt it went really well. I wanted to take the opportunity to show the chicks the patio area which is always the most difficult part for new girls. I ended up picking them up and putting them on the patio.

Smoke was in the nest box and I thought that they were very brave to have a look in. Today Smoke laid her first egg since her last broody spell.

I then put their dish in front of them and sprinkled a bit of their food outside the dish. The chicks were happy enough to peck at the food.

The chicks discover another part of the run
The chicks come face to face with the bigger girls
At last Marmite can get to the water bottle
Speckles takes no notice of the chicks at all
The brave chicks look in at Smoke in the nest box
The chicks peck at the pellets on the patio

At this point I felt that this was enough for the first day. I closed the part at the corner of the patio and I closed the hatch. I then shook the corn and sprinkled some outside the gate to get the other girls back out.

I then picked up the chicks and put them back in their area. This seemed the quickest and easiest way to get them back to their part of the run.

I am very pleased with how it went. I just want to get the chicks confident with the growers pellets before I move on to the next stage. By this afternoon they had eaten all of the chick crumb that I had mixed in the dish and just left the pellets. I think it’s going to take a bit longer to get them changed over.

It was a very encouraging start though and I don’t think it will take too long to get them all together.

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9 Responses to The start of integration

  1. david says:

    Great start to integration. I love their stance. Hope things continue to go as well.

  2. Jenny says:

    I got mine onto pellets by bashing the pellets into smaller bits for a couple of weeks making it less of a transition

    • Carol says:

      That’s pretty much what I am doing. I tried a pestle and mortar but that just crushes back to the same as chick crumb so instead I break them up into smaller pieces by hand but I mix some crumb in and they take all the crumb first. In my past experience they do get used to it in a couple days but of course we always worry that they may not be getting enough. I am sure they won’t starve but it’s something that we always worry about non the less.

  3. marion says:

    That went well, I love the picture of them looking in at Smoke in the nest box.
    They are som

  4. marion says:

    That went well, I love the picture of them looking in at Smoke in the nest box.
    They are so cute.

  5. marion says:

    I do not know how it happens that they have done this twice.

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