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Having a hard time getting the first 10 existing chickens to like the new 7 chickens

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I am having difficulties with getting my 1st existing flock of 10 to accept the new 7 hens.  I have kept them separated and then cooped up at night together. I have left them all out roaming together, but they still don't really get along together.  The first 10 hens will not let the newer hens out of the coop.  I find this quite interesting since now the weather is changing but the existing 10 remain outside in the weather but keep the new ones stuck in the coop where it is warm and dry.  The problem that I am having mostly is that I want to insure that the newer hens get enough to drink or to eat.  Since the weather is getting colder, I am told that I should not keep water in the coop as it will add too much moisture to the coop. Our coop is not insulated other than straw bales on the outside walls. Does anyone have any other suggestions or ideas that we could try?  

post #2 of 5


Does the older flock range far afield, or do the pretty much hang around the outside of the coop and run.  If they hang around, a suggestion might be to chase them off so the others can come out.  That's what I do, and at least when I do that the others can come out. 

 

I've recently confined all but three of mine to two separate coops because the little stinkers were laying eggs all over the place.  My egg count has gone from 3 a day to 9 a day, with more coming on line as they start to lay.  The pullets are 21 weeks old now, and a few breeds that I have start laying a bit later.  The three that are not confined are escapees from when I opened the coop/run to feed and water them.  I'll lure them back in soon enough!

Peeps61
Location: NW Florida
Chickens since Feb. 2013
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Peeps61
Location: NW Florida
Chickens since Feb. 2013
Reply
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

We have a 6' x 18' kennel run that they hang out in most of the week as we have too many hawks, eagles, and other predators around. On weekends they get to wander around the yard when we can be around if something happens.  The coop is 8' x 8'.

When the newer chickens (and they are pretty much all the same age) peek out the coop door the others chase them back in.  The newer flock seem to be pretty content to stay in the coop but when they get out to wander they will still stay in a tight group where ever they go. We got the newer hens the week before Thanksgiving and just within the last week we have been having eggs all over the place.  Sometimes I think they roll them out of the coop!  I just hope they get this out of there system and get along all through the winter without any fatalities.

post #4 of 5

What are the ages of the existing flock and the newcomers? If the newcomers are very young, less than a year old, it's normal for them to be intimidated by the older flock. And my second question is how long has this merger been going on? How long ago did the seven new chickens arrive on the scene?

 

I had a similar problem years ago when I introduced eight-week old chicks to the adult flock. One hen appointed herself hall monitor and stood just inside the coop entrance and wouldn't allow the chicks to enter at roosting time.

 

It was a drastic solution, but what I did was I constructed another entrance at the far opposite end of the coop. The bully couldn't watch both entrances at once, and the chicks quickly discovered they had a choice of two entrances. Problem solved.

 

What you see happening is totally normal. The newcomers need time to adapt to their new surroundings and to get acquainted with the home flock. I would guess that within three weeks you should see the two flocks interacting in a more relaxed manner.

post #5 of 5
In our case, we did some drastic changes when We introduced new 13 chicks @12 week olds to a group of 1 yr olds 10 hens. I split the coop into 2 rooms by partitioning it with chicken wire, built multiple roost in the coop & the run. Split also the run in 2 by building a chicken wire tunnel to another 10x12 run, had multiple waterers and multiple feeders inside and out of the coop also couple of separate nests. They saw each other for couple of months and interact thru the wire partition. When I integrate them there were some bullying and some blood drawn that I thought I had to separate them again. It took few days to a week before they settled.

At this time they still group together by their age but no major fights except occasional pecks her and there. I know you mentioned about temp going down. Some people had fast integration experiences some took a little longer. Putting multiple waterer and feeder might help considering the size of your coop. Hope works out good.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Basic starter: Personally designed & built Shed/Coupe/Run: 3 Leghorns, 2 Plymouth Barred Rocks, 5 Silver Laced Wyandottes

NEW ADDITION: 4/21/15
Rhode Island Reds, Plymouth Barred Rock
Black Copper Marans & Blue Marans
12x24x7 additional run


NEW BABIES: 2/17/16
New Hampshires, Black Australorps, Amerecaunas,
Easter Eggers & Black Sex Links

NEWER YET: 3/16/16
Spe...
Reply
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Basic starter: Personally designed & built Shed/Coupe/Run: 3 Leghorns, 2 Plymouth Barred Rocks, 5 Silver Laced Wyandottes

NEW ADDITION: 4/21/15
Rhode Island Reds, Plymouth Barred Rock
Black Copper Marans & Blue Marans
12x24x7 additional run


NEW BABIES: 2/17/16
New Hampshires, Black Australorps, Amerecaunas,
Easter Eggers & Black Sex Links

NEWER YET: 3/16/16
Spe...
Reply
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