Adding new chickens to flock

Aquaman05

Chirping
7 Years
May 2, 2012
104
0
89
I purchased 5 new chicks the first of February and they are close to the same size of my others. I tried to put one in the coop today with the others and wow wee , the fight was on !!! Had to pull it out of there or I think they would have killed it. I want to add them to the flock but I think they might just kill them off ?
Any help here ?
 

ChickensAreSweet

Heavenly Grains for Hens
9 Years
Jun 8, 2010
15,100
675
398
Pacific NW- where the Douglas Firs grow
You might try taking one or two of the other group out and put them with the most timid chicken group. I'd pick the nicest. Let them stay for a week or two, and when you integrate they will hopefully have a friend.

Another thing that I have heard helps is to put them on the roost at night so in the morning they all come out of the same coop. I haven't tried this.

Believe me if it looks as though they might be killed, they MIGHT be. The way to tell if it is normal pecking order business vs. bullying is as follows:

If the "bully" backs down and lets the other one get away without keeping on and on, that is normal. That is to be expected - some pecking is OK and normal.

What is not normal is for a chick or chicken to be up against a wall or fence with another chicken pecking at his/her tushie and not letting up. Sometimes it can be a whole group of six chickens ganged up on one poor chicken. That chicken could die.
 
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Aquaman05

Chirping
7 Years
May 2, 2012
104
0
89
It was a rooster that I put in there, my other roosters didn't bother it but the hens trapped it and started pecking the h out of it ?
 

Kernel Cluck

Songster
7 Years
Feb 1, 2012
494
35
141
In front of wood stove keeping warm.
How old are they? I recently introduced 2 grown hens into my flock and I used the SLEEP and SNEAK method. ( i have a copy right pending on that phrase) ... kidding. You wait for the other hens to snuggle in for the night and then you just put the new girls in. In the morning, they wake up and think " I don't think you were here yesterday, but we are waking up together so I must have just not noticed you before". There are several great threads in the learning center on this topic. Good luck.
 

allison finch

Songster
10 Years
Jun 12, 2009
328
7
113
Chapel Hill, NC
Maybe your hens are lesbian?? Sorry, I couldn't resist.

I just did the unspeakable last week. I bought a single hen to put into a flock of ten. I knew better.... At first, the poor girl stayed on the roost and wouldn't come down. I put a source of food and water on the roost for her. After about three days, she started mingling with the flock. They pecked and chased. She ran a LOT! Little by little, they started to accept her.

The last time I introduced birds to the flock, I had about the same number as the ones in the coop. It was the BLOODS and the CRIPS for a while, until they worked out the pecking order.
 

Aquaman05

Chirping
7 Years
May 2, 2012
104
0
89
That's funny stuff Allison .
If I sneek them in and not there in the morning I'm afraid it might be over for them all
 

cafarmgirl

Crowing
10 Years
Mar 24, 2009
5,521
610
327
California, central valley
Chickens do NOT like new comers, at all. To be honest, the whole "put them in at night" thing has never worked for me, ever. It's a real good way for your new bird/birds to get the heck beat out of them in the morning. I had a hen scalped and nearly killed trying that. The older hens know full well there is a new bird in their midst. It might work if you have a very large flock. Smaller flocks know who's who.

What has worked extremely well for me is putting new birds in a separate pen alongside the older ones. Or fencing off part of the run for them. Let them get used to seeing each other around all day, every day for a few weeks. It's well worth the effort. I raise my young birds in a grow out pen right alongside the older hens. I don't let youngsters mix with older birds until they are about the same size and can defend themselves better, about 15 weeks old. By the time I do let everybody out together I have almost no pecking at all, just very minor pecking order issues. No feather's flying and certainly no blood shed. Chickens can be brutal and once they get it in their heads to attack and peck a new bird, they don't always get over it. Been there, done that too. Give them the time they need and there will be a lot less stress for both them and you.
 

bj taylor

Songster
8 Years
Oct 28, 2011
1,131
45
168
North Central Texas
this merging is heck. I've got a lone hen (a sad story) I've tried to integrate into a small flock. i'm on week 5 w/ little progress. I've also got 12 chicks coming along at a fast pace. the lone hen loves the chicks (she is unbelievably passive). I don't let the others near the babies yet.
I am beginning to doubt the lone hen will ever merge w/the flock. I think i'm going to have to get her a super passive friend (I read that faveroles are very mild mannered birds) & they can do their thing together.
 

cafarmgirl

Crowing
10 Years
Mar 24, 2009
5,521
610
327
California, central valley
this merging is heck. I've got a lone hen (a sad story) I've tried to integrate into a small flock. i'm on week 5 w/ little progress. I've also got 12 chicks coming along at a fast pace. the lone hen loves the chicks (she is unbelievably passive). I don't let the others near the babies yet.
I am beginning to doubt the lone hen will ever merge w/the flock. I think i'm going to have to get her a super passive friend (I read that faveroles are very mild mannered birds) & they can do their thing together.
Integrating a single new bird can be very, very hard. I've tried it in the past, I do NOT do it anymore. It's just too much of a headache, too much stress for me and the bird!

If you have, or are going to have, a pen for the chicks when they are old enough to go outside you might try putting her in with them and integrating them as a group when they are old enough. That will be much easier then just one new bird.
 
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MANNA-PRO

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