Adding 2 hens to a group of 12?

sheeshshe

Songster
10 Years
May 6, 2009
1,789
14
181
Is that a nightmare waiting to happen? Is it not ENOUGH to add at once to spread aggression?
 

AlienChick

Crowing
Apr 9, 2010
2,917
127
251
Glasgow, KY
Any time you add "new" chickens to the flock, there will be the usual pecking order adjustment.
I would put the two hens in and kinda watch over the course of the first few days just to make sure no hen is being bullied too harshly.
They usually settle down within a week and things get back to normal.
You will want to make sure any chickens at the bottom of the pecking order is not being bullied away from the feed.
And, of course, make sure no one is pecking too hard (no blood).
Things will all work out.
Good luck!
smile.png
 

cowcreekgeek

Songster
7 Years
Sep 14, 2012
1,231
142
188
Hurricane, WV
Is that a nightmare waiting to happen? Is it not ENOUGH to add at once to spread aggression?

I'm mixing chicken and guineas, which seems to complicate the dynamics quite a bit (seems that guinea fowl can kill a chicken in a single blow). But, I divided them for an extended period, 'til they had become so used to one another that they don't seem to be peckin' one another very hard at all. And, for the most part, it's been the chickens that push the larger guineas around ~'-)
 

sheeshshe

Songster
10 Years
May 6, 2009
1,789
14
181
Hmmmm. what to do what to do! :) They're my friends chickens and she is moving. I can't take them all, can't afford the food bill! But I am particularly fond of one :)
 

Kadjain

Songster
8 Years
Oct 28, 2011
665
53
156
Tehama, Nor Cal (way nor)
When I introduce new birds I put the new birds in a wire cage and then put that cage in the coop. I leave them in the wire cage (w food and water) for at least 24 hours so they can all meet without being able to actually get to each other. When it looks like they are use to the birds being in the cage and not making a big deal about it anymore I will open the cage door and let come out on their own. I don't just do this and expect the best, I always keep a close eye on the progress.
 

sheeshshe

Songster
10 Years
May 6, 2009
1,789
14
181
Well, my friend brought her one over. I put it in the cage in the coop, it was there only about 6 hours. I had to go in to check on her and she dumped her food and water. I reached in to grab the water container and she busted out of the cage and ran out and after my other chickens who I just let out for an hour before bedtime. They didn't even pay any attention to her! I couldn't believe it. There hasn't even been any real pecking either. A little hear and there, but nothing more than they do to my EE's (for some odd reason nobody likes them LOL). I am SHOCKED that it went over this easily. It wasn't my plan to do it that way, I planned on keeping her in the cage for much longer than that! She is scared of people, so I couldn't catch her!
 

cowcreekgeek

Songster
7 Years
Sep 14, 2012
1,231
142
188
Hurricane, WV
Well, my friend brought her one over. I put it in the cage in the coop, it was there only about 6 hours. I had to go in to check on her and she dumped her food and water. I reached in to grab the water container and she busted out of the cage and ran out and after my other chickens who I just let out for an hour before bedtime. They didn't even pay any attention to her! I couldn't believe it. There hasn't even been any real pecking either. A little hear and there, but nothing more than they do to my EE's (for some odd reason nobody likes them LOL). I am SHOCKED that it went over this easily. It wasn't my plan to do it that way, I planned on keeping her in the cage for much longer than that! She is scared of people, so I couldn't catch her!

Sorta like my guineas opening the divider, self-integrating w/ the chickens. Glad it went well for ya, and I hope you can get her to where she'll allow you to inspect/treat her ~'-)
 

cowcreekgeek

Songster
7 Years
Sep 14, 2012
1,231
142
188
Hurricane, WV
She let me get a little bit closer to her tonight. I can do this!

Of course ... just takes time ~'-)

When one of mine escaped, she made it through the cold/wet night w/o bein' eaten, but flat refused to come close to me or the feeder it was used to. Finally, I went 'n got one of my more tame ones, and held it while it ate. The other scampered right up to the opposite site, and continued while I sorta poked at her w/ one finger, the stroked feathers just as gentle as could be, then slid my hand ... "I gotcha, you [ extended period of mixed words and bleeps ]." I was relieved, despite the sleep she'd cost me, 'cause the guinea that got away wasn't so fortunate.
 

Kadjain

Songster
8 Years
Oct 28, 2011
665
53
156
Tehama, Nor Cal (way nor)
I normally don't have a problem introducing birds but I still do the cage technique for less stress on the newbies and they get to see the coop and understand that's where 'it's' at. I built up my flock gradually and did not start with a big number of birds all at once. I think that helps keep the aggression down because they don't have that huge mob mentality. They keep to their little clicks.
I hope it goes well for her tonight. I had to wait till later at night once and catch a new bird that tried to roost in the neighbors tree. If you wait a couple hours after they go to roost you can normally climb right up to them and catch them without them even trying to escape (until you've got your hands on them). I've got birds who would not let me approach them at first and not too long they warm up and let me walk up and pick them up. A few of them squat and open their wings like I'm a rooster come to top them. But some, even ones that I've hatched out who are a couple years old now still want nothing to do with me.
 
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