Adding 5 new hens to my flock

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by HeatherGrill, Mar 23, 2017.

  1. HeatherGrill

    HeatherGrill New Egg

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    Well I have one big sister who isn't playing nice! Is this fear? She does peck pretty hard at the little ones. Not sure what I can do.

    I have only had them in the yard together twice now for about an hour each time supervised.

    I plan on moving the little border cage into the big run for a few days before releasing them. Once I release them I read somewhere that I can simply put the pullets in the coop at night and they all wake up together not caring anything is different.

    Any suggestions are appreciated!!

    Heather
     
  2. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    Free range them and yes you will have pecking order fights...No, do not introduce at night thinking in the morning it's going to be fine....Chickens need to establish pecking order and I always do it as they free range.....Looks bad to us, but it is the life of a Chicken...;).......To much interference only prolongs the integration .....:)


    Cheers!
     
  3. Mdm Cluck Cluck

    Mdm Cluck Cluck Out Of The Brooder

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    When did you start introducing them? It can take quite a while. I definitely would not just put them in together at night. There will be massive fights next morning and new Girls might get injured badly.

    I've done this a number of times over the years and tried different ways. I've got mixed age hybrid flock in my garden in large enclosure with lawn access. At the moment am introducing 4 new white leghorns and will use the method that's worked for me.

    New Girls are in a small enclosure next to main one in second coop. But there's no way I'd risk getting them together with main flock yet. I'm planning on it taking quite a few weeks.

    I tend to add one of the more placid hens in with new ones after few days for initially short then increasing periods of time under supervision. Then add a few more plus give them lawn access - basically forming a new flock. Eventually opening up to rest of them. Still some dominance problems- I keep hose handy and give the more aggressive ones a surprise drench, but usually not too bad. Then I move 2nd coop into main enclosure. Eventually after week or so with encouragement they end up in one coop. But it takes time.

    Good luck.
     
  4. lutherpug

    lutherpug Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How old are the new ones relative to your existing flock? If you can separate part of your run for the new ones where the big ones see them but not touch them that seems to work well for people but the adjustment period may be weeks, not days. I agree with the other posters that if you put them in the coop at night you are going to have problems in the morning. That might work if you're sneaking a few chickens into a very large flock but probably not in your situation.

    To give you some perspective, I gave my 9 week old pullets full access to the coop and run after doing "see/don't touch" for a few weeks prior to that. These pullets are now almost 17 weeks old and things have just started settling down in the last week or two. I think how old my pullets were when I introduced them played a big role in how long integration took-this may not be applicable to your situation-but my point is that it can be much more difficult and take much longer than you may be inclined to expect.

    Good luck, I hope it works out quickly and with minimal drama!
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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