Adding 4 three month old chickens to my mix of 8 month olds. How would I go about doing so?

Katydidd33

Chirping
May 22, 2019
85
74
71
Gasport,New York
How to introduce new chicks/chickens to existing flock?? The newbees are on the bottom run. And have been a little over a week. The older ones I have had first. Are free range. And sleep up top at night. The can hear and see each other.
 

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hysop

Hammy Cute as a Button
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Sep 16, 2019
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I love your coop!! Did you build it yourself?

And since you already have them in the same area and they can see and hear each other, I would go ahead and let them free range with the others but stay with them for a bit in case you see anything concerning. But they should integrate well if they’ve been seeing each other for a while. Mine did. Although they aren’t part of the same flock but they do free range together without a problem.
 

Mrs. K

Free Ranging
11 Years
Nov 12, 2009
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How many birds do you have? As space is rather key in the coop at night. You might try taking a piece of cardboard to split the roost into two areas, where as a bird perched on one side, can't see who is on the other side of the cardboard.

Mrs K
 

Katydidd33

Chirping
May 22, 2019
85
74
71
Gasport,New York
I love your coop!! Did you build it yourself?

And since you already have them in the same area and they can see and hear each other, I would go ahead and let them free range with the others but stay with them for a bit in case you see anything concerning. But they should integrate well if they’ve been seeing each other for a while. Mine did. Although they aren’t part of the same flock but they do free range together without a problem.
Yes I did! And thanks so much that was my instinct to kinda let them come out. They try to escape and get the grass and I feel so bad so I Have ripped plenty out for them daily. my biggest fear is my two crazy roosters. They would chase themselves if the could lol. Thanks so much for the advice
 

Katydidd33

Chirping
May 22, 2019
85
74
71
Gasport,New York
How many birds do you have? As space is rather key in the coop at night. You might try taking a piece of cardboard to split the roost into two areas, where as a bird perched on one side, can't see who is on the other side of the cardboard.

Mrs K[/QUOTE The originals are 6. 4 hens two roosters whom all get along extremely well. They are 8months old. The new additions are two hens and two more roosters which I fear and know I’ll have to re home very soon. I was told I was getting all hens out of the new 6. I ended up with two Cornish x One cockerel and One Hen. And two buff Orpington which are one cockerel and one hen. And two Rhode Island Red. One cockerel and one hen. The odds ‍♀️ so I’m only adding four to my flock. And that will make ten chickens total.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
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My Coop
My Coop
How old are the newbies? ETA...oops 3 months old.
Get rid of all (but maybe one) of the males and life will be much easier for everyone.
Agrees that free ranging after a couple weeks of 'see no touch' would be a good place to start.

Here's some tips about....
Integration Basics:
It's all about territory and resources(space/food/water).
Existing birds will almost always attack new ones to defend their resources.
Understanding chicken behaviors is essential to integrating new birds into your flock.

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.

In adjacent runs, spread scratch grains along the dividing mesh, best if mesh is just big enough for birds to stick their head thru, so they get used to eating together.

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 copious blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down and beaten unmercilessly, 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'(but not a dead end trap) and/or up and away from any bully birds. Roosts, pallets or boards leaned up against walls or up on concrete blocks, old chairs tables, branches, logs, stumps out in the run can really help. Lots of diversion and places to 'hide' instead of bare wide open run.
 

hysop

Hammy Cute as a Button
Premium Feather Member
Sep 16, 2019
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It’s really simple yet fancy and I love the color. Pretty neat that you built it yourself!

Let us know how they did if you let em out today!
 

Mrs. K

Free Ranging
11 Years
Nov 12, 2009
9,161
12,069
636
western South Dakota
No one likes this part. Everyone wishes they could just all be nice and be one happy flock. However, I assume you are going into winter. Winter + 4 cockerels + 10 hens+ small coop = a disaster.

They won't be nice, there will be nearly constant strife, and the long nights of winter will keep them roosted next to each other 14 hours a day. What you have now is a recipe for a very ugly flock.

No on likes the ideas of dispatching roosters. It is a fact of chicken keeping. I think you are just getting started, so I highly recommend you get rid of ALL 4 roosters. Just have a hen flock the first year and get some experience. At the most keep one rooster but I really recommend letting them all go. Roosters take experience, and if you have small children I really recommend you let them go.

People think that if they free range all day, if the birds grow up together they can cheat on coop space, but you can't. In the summer, you can cheat a little. But come the fall you need to get down to the size that will fit in that coop. Very ugly chicken behavior and habits can start in a too small set up. You are very close to a too small set up, and you are past too small for 4 roosters. I would want close to 80 head of chickens to have 4 roosters.

I know you are planning on rehoming two of those, if you get lucky and someone does take them, don't ask any other questions, but could you take a third and fourth one too. Rehoming roosters is hard to do, and if you can't, what will you do? A lot of people cannot re-home roosters, no one wants them. You seem handy, you could build a separate bachelors quarter for them. A huge expense, but some people like to do that.

So, I know your question was how to get the littles into the bigs, but in reality, you have some big decisions to make ASAP. Adding juvenile roosters to roosters that are established is a recipe for a cock fight.

However, people have kept roosters together, totally separated from the hens together with only limited fighting.

MRs K
 

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