adding new chickens to the flock?!?!?


6 Years
Jun 12, 2013
Mobile, Alabama
I recently got two fully grown standard gold sex link hens. I have a VERY big coop ... I actually think it is too big . lol I have more than enough feeders & waterers. And PLENTY of nest boxes, and a few days ago, I put the two new hens in the coop while the other chickens were asleep. They've been in the coop 3 days now and I figured they would just get used to each other. The other chickens chase the new ones around and peck them and pull feathers. They new chickens have not came out of the nest box this entire time. I put some food & water in there with them, but I wish they could settle in and look at this place as a safe new home, what should I do?? I would hate to be in need of re-rehoming them :(
I have the opposite problem, I introduced 2 new hens to my flock and at first everyone was fine because despite the new ones being almost at egg laying age, and being bigger, because they were so scared. Well its been a week and now the hens are ganging up on my half grown LB Pullets and Roos. I have a big coop and run so you would think everyone would be fine because they all have their own space. I have bantam cochin eggs in the bator and I'm wondering if having a mixed size flock is going to be a problem all of a sudden. My last flock got along great in mixed sizes. I had a mix of everything from Light Brahma down to Spangled Hamburgs and then Bob who is a size A Serama that lives in the house, but they never bothered him when he was outside.
Unfortunately this is completely normal. A common integration method is to start off with the new birds in a pin or crate that is in the run or right next to it so that the birds can see each other and be with each other without actually being with each other. I usually do this for a full week before actually putting the birds in the same space and have been happy with the results. It might be something to try out if you are seeing the old birds start to draw blood.

How old are the new chickens? If they are too young and small they may not be ready to be with the big girls.

But, even if you do this first there is an adjust period and bullying. It is completely normal chicken behavior and part of their social structure while they re-establish a pecking order.

Try to step back and take a practical look at the violence level. If there is not risk of real injury, no blood and everyone is able to get food and water then its probably best to let them work it out. I would make sure that there is more than one feeder and water that they can access and that the two are far apart to prevent guarding but putting it in the nest box can set you up for bad habits in the future. I would take it out of there. Make sure they have somewhere in the run to hide or escape. I would block off the boxes at night so they do not sleep in there.

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