ok I have 4 hens about 1 1/2 yrs old they are Americana's, am trying to add to new hens about the same age, australorps, one is very docile . I have one hen from the original group that is trying to be VERY dominate the other hens are starting to follow her lead, I am building a separate area to house either the two newbies or should I take the one bully and separate her from the flock
adding new hens to a flock
Anytime...and I mean ANYTIME you add new birds to your flock you will have an upheaval. Your current hens have an established pecking order, which since they were raised together you may not have even seen them sort it out. Adding 2 new causes them to reorganize. Usually this happens without major blood shed. I would let them work it out and not get involved with it. Can you give them time outside with lots of space for a few hours per day? Even if you can't it usually works out within a week. If you take them away but plan to add them later they will still go through this.
Here's an article to read; (And good luck!)
Those chickens should get along well together. You will always have a pecking order situation in EVERY FLOCK. Here is my suggestion. In their coop, install a separation of chicken wire, or something similar so chickens can see each other, but not fight. After a while, they will grow to tolerate each other. At that point, remove divider and all should be well. There will always be some pecking and chasing. As long as the lower order ones have a chance to hide/escape from the bullies, all is normal. If a chicken does get injured to the point of bleeding, then you do have to separate for her safety. Most pecking issues are associated with roost area, and feed area. Once the top hens get their LIONS SHARE of food, they will wander away. At that point the next in line get to eat peacefully for the most part. I like to place feed in multiple areas, so all eat at same time. The roost that is most desirable goes to the most dominant chickens of course. The lesser usually have to settle for lower spots. Best way for chickens to get to know each other is when they are free range. If your run is large, then assimilation should also be easy.
WISHING YOU BEST
thanks for the imfo, I just wasn't sure how long to let them get to know each other, right now the two new ones pretty much stay in the coop area, I do give them food and water but they do not come outside even if I oven the gate for free ranging, which I try to do for at least 3 hours a day. was just worried about about food and water for the new ones...thanks again
thanks for the reply, I am adding a new area next to the covered under coop area, they all roost together at night just fine, the new ones just don't come outside, they stay in the coop, thinking I will put them in the new area which will be covered. I have only had then for a few days so am sure they will work it out..thanks again