Adding 1 older hen to 3 slightly younger hens!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Dansoy, Mar 13, 2015.

  1. Dansoy

    Dansoy In the Brooder

    Mar 7, 2015
    Hello people :).

    I have an flock of 3 hens and 1 rooster.

    3 hens are around 8 month's old.
    Rooster about 1 and a half year.

    They get along ok but 1 likes to peck but nothing agressive.

    I'd like to add an older hen (1 year ~ 15 month's old) which is around a half kilo heavyer but the same breed(phillipine)

    By the way my coop is only 3,5meters long but 2 meters deep, enough ''space'' but no hidding places other then some nesting boxes and sticks.

    Is this safe and ok to do? (I'm worried about fighting and not accepting her).

    Any comment will be appreciated!

    Last edited: Mar 13, 2015
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Adding just 1 bird is the hardest integration.....would be better to add 2 or 3.

    Good to acclimate new birds next to each other but separated by wire for a few weeks....maybe you could put up a temporary wire wall in the coop?

    Here's some notes I've taken on integration that I found to be very helpful.
    See if any of them, or the links provided at the bottom, might offer some tips that will assist you in your situation:

    Integration of new chickens into flock.

    Consider medical quarantine:
    BYC Medical Quarantine Article
    Poultry Biosecurity
    BYC 'medical quarantine' search

    Confine new birds within sight but physically segregated from older/existing birds for several weeks, so they can see and get used to each other but not physically interact. Integrating new birds of equal size works best.

    For smaller chicks I used a large wire dog crate right in the coop for the smallers. I removed the crate door and put up a piece of wire fencing over the opening and bent up one corner just enough for the smallers to fit thru but the biggers could not. Feed and water inside the crate for the smallers. Make sure the smallers know how to get in and out of the crate opening before exposing them to the olders. this worked out great for me, by the time the crate was too small for the them to roost in there(about 3 weeks), they had pretty much integrated themselves to the olders.

    If you have too many smallers to fit in a crate you can partition off part of the coop with a wire wall and make the same openings for smallers escape.

    The more space, the better. Birds will peck to establish dominance, the pecked bird needs space to get away. As long as there's no blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down, let them work it out. Every time you interfere or remove new birds, they'll have to start the pecking order thing all over again.

    Multiple feed/water stations. Dominance issues are most often carried out over sustenance, more stations lessens the frequency of that issue.

    Places for the new birds to hide out of line of sight and/or up and away from any bully birds.

    Read up on integration..... BYC advanced search>titles only>integration
    This is good place to start reading:

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