Moving 12-week old growers

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chickenfan
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Moving 12-week old growers

Post by chickenfan » Mon Jun 23, 2014 11:35 pm

I have two broods of 12-week old growers - a group of 6 and a group of 4. I was planning to put them all together in a place where they will have more space, and quietly lifted two of them up in the dark, but the whole group went berserk. They haven't been handled but are friendly Plymouth Rocks and Copper Blacks. Is 12 weeks a particularly traumatic age to move birds? I didn't move any further birds as they were getting too stressed. The broody mother left them some weeks ago.
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Marigold
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Re: Moving 12-week old growers

Post by Marigold » Tue Jun 24, 2014 8:04 am

Can you make a mesh fence across the new run and separate the two groups for a few days whilst they get used to the sight of each other? They have made two flocks so it's like introducing any new chickens to each other, needs a bit of time for them. Give the 6 the coop end and provide a box for the others to roost in. Then, after a few days, move the 4 into the coop when they are asleep.
chickenfan
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Re: Moving 12-week old growers

Post by chickenfan » Tue Jun 24, 2014 8:42 am

Thankyou Marigold. Its the age I'm wondering about. They may be still building their immune systems at 12 weeks, so perhaps best to do it when they are a bit older (16+ weeks) and avoid all stress now. I hadn't realised they would be so upset at this age.
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chrismahon
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Re: Moving 12-week old growers

Post by chrismahon » Tue Jun 24, 2014 11:32 am

I don't think the age has much to do with it Chickenfan. It is the lack of handling and they will get upset at any age. If they are all going to move together to a new bigger place there will be no territorial or space issues. I would move the whole lot together, at night, into the new coop. They will all be disorientated and will have to establish a new pecking order, which hopefully won't get too messy. Plenty of feeders and drinkers in the new run and open the pop-hole before dawn so they can come out one at a time. You need to avoid fighting in the coop, because there is no space to escape and injury may result.
chickenfan
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Re: Moving 12-week old growers

Post by chickenfan » Tue Jun 24, 2014 2:34 pm

Thanks Chris. I just moved two to join the four last night and kept them separate this morning, but they are all getting on immediately and loving the big space. They will have separate places to sleep initially.
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