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How to Safely Integrate Your Chicken Flocks

Updated: Mar 14

When I started this adventure with backyard chickens, I said I wanted NO MORE than six chickens! I had chickens before, and both times, I ended up with too many and was overwhelmed.

Fast-forward to now: Our kids are older, we have a better setup and here I am with 26 chickens! Haha! I didn’t start that way, though. Initially, I started with ten chicks, intending to give four away, but I found myself quickly attached to all ten.

And then came spring. Our local farm supply store had a fantastic assortment of chicks! My husband, being the encourager he is, talked me into getting six more (it wasn’t hard). Then, why stop there?

Our daughter and I thought hatching our Silkie chicks would be fun, so we ordered the fertilized eggs and fired up the incubator! We hatched three healthy baby Silkies and purchased three more at the local farm supply store.

The icing on the cake was that our local farm store was getting Barnevelder chicks. They have been my dream chicken! Sadly, I had to find new homes for two of them as I discovered Bernice is Bernie and Millie is a Milford, and I don’t want to have any roosters...yet.

How to Integrate Your Chicken Flocks

Introducing New Chicks and Chickens to Your Flock

But now I had flocks at three different stages, and we needed to integrate them safely. The pecking order is no joke and this is why you have to be careful when integrating flocks. It’s a real thing with real consequences if you’re not careful.

My original ten chickens were laying eggs when I was ready to incorporate our six “teenagers.” The big girls were on top of the world in their coop, and for the most part, they all got along. I have spent literally hours with them, so they are very tame.

I’ve read about different techniques for integrating flocks, but our situation was a little unique so we chose this approach!

How I Integrated My Flocks

  • I purchased a small dog kennel from our local farm supply store. On nice days, I set it inside our big girls’ run. The teenagers were in the kennel so the flocks could hear and see each other. I sat out there with them and sprinkled treats around the kennel.

  • After a few times, I put the kennel into the girls’ coop using the same process.

  • Then, while supervising, I put the teenagers into the run area so they could all be together without the kennel. After a few hours, I would always put them back into their brooder.

  • Then, finally, it happened! I put the teenagers out in the run during the late afternoon. When I went to shut the coop up for the night, all 16 gals were in there together!

  • They continue to work out their pecking order, but no one has gotten hurt.

  • The whole process took about a week.

How to Integrate Your Chicken Flocks

Now, I have a flock of eight to integrate into the bigger group and will follow the same process! My girls eased into it the last time without significant changes or surprises, and they kept laying eggs! I’m hoping for the same results with integrating the eight babies. My “teenagers” haven’t started laying yet, but they will soon. I don’t want to mess with their schedule, so I’m taking more time with this third flock.

How to Integrate Your Chicken Flocks

Best Products to Help with Flock Integration

Daily, I give our chickens Chicken E-lixir™ to support their immune system and digestive health. But when I integrated our flocks, I also incorporated Flock Fixer™ to alleviate the stress on my girls. Flock Fixer is a vitamin-rich additive that helps hydrate, restore vital nutrients and support immunity. I mix a scoop of Flock Fixer with a gallon of drinking water for 3-5 days during the transition. All the girls stayed healthy and vibrant during the first transition!

Integrating your flocks doesn’t have to be complicated or stressful. Follow the steps I’ve laid out for you, and you can buy all the chicks you want! Just make sure you have enough space for all of them. And, in my opinion? There’s always room for a couple more! :)

Until next time,

-The Wing Lady


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