Adding Chickens to an Existing Flock

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by tanekahachicken, Dec 6, 2008.

  1. tanekahachicken

    tanekahachicken In the Brooder

    Mar 10, 2008
    Titirangi, Auckland, NZ
    I have just added 5 new 10 wk old Brown Shaver Pullets to my existing flock of 5 mixed breeds. I read some posts before doing it and added them last night while the girls were all sleeping. It seems fine this morning until I fed them and the 2 girls that aren't broody at the moment kept chasing the baby's away, I have fed them separately but I'm concerned that everything will go pear shaped and the new chicks will get a really hard time from my other girls who are approx 12 mths old. Any idea's on how to keep harmony in the house? ..................chicken house that is!
  2. Buster

    Buster Back to Work

    It really helps if you can divide them into an area that they can see each other in first for about a week. Then add them in at night. I would also suggest leaning boards up in your coop so they can hide from each other if they need to. Good luck to you!
  3. ratlummountain

    ratlummountain Songster

    Jul 18, 2007
    barkhamsted, CT
    when i added my 3 new 12 week olds to my existing flock of 3, 1-year olds it was brutal to say the least.

    i kept the new ones seperated for about 2 weeks, but in plain view. they were seperated by hardware cloth.

    when i integrated them i did it at night like all the suggestions say.

    it's only been recently (the new girls are about 25 weeks) that they are all finally getting along. they still sqaubble here & there, but the 'attack to kill' mode is finally gone.

    just sharing my story so you know it can range from immediate integration to a 2 month "my god will they ever get along!?!" ordeal.
  4. Buster

    Buster Back to Work

    Some other things that I've noticed help are:

    1)Wait until they are close to the same size as the existing flock.

    2)Switch up everything in the coop and move it around so the flock isn't in it's comfort zone.

    3)If you are culling or re-homing some, wait for introductions and move everything around on the same day- this also helps get the flock out of its' comfort zone.

    4)Try to make sure the new birds can get away. I free range mine so squabbles are seldom extreme or damaging.
  5. The Chicken Lady

    The Chicken Lady Moderator Staff Member

    Apr 21, 2008
    West Michigan
    Just a question out of curiosity... Were the chickens you just added ones you hatched out yourself or were they ones you purchased elsewhere? I'm just worried for you about quarantine issues; I wouldn't want your whole flock to get sick. [​IMG]
  6. FrontPorchIndiana

    FrontPorchIndiana Songster

    Mar 8, 2008
    To some degree there will need to be a little bit of chasing from the food type of activity at first. They are simply establishing the pecking order. Really it's best to leave them alone and let them do their thing unless someone is getting physically hurt. Just keep an eye on the situation to make sure they do get food sometime. Adding extra feeders a safe distance from each other for a while helps.

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