Adding new chickens

Mister B

Songster
8 Years
Feb 7, 2013
489
37
154
NW Alabama
I bought 3 new chickens yesterday. Since I didn't have anywhere else to put them, I just put them in with the other chickens. The other chickens were in the run, so I put these in the coop. I got two RIRs and a Buff Orpington to add to my flock (1 black australorpe, 1 RIR and 9 gold sex link). I assumed some pestering and it happened. My question, though, is how long til things calm down? I figured 2-3 days. The old chickens leave the newbies alone until someone notices them. Then they all have to take a run at the new guys. Everything calms down for an hour or so and repeat.
 

chickenlover09

Chirping
5 Years
Jul 17, 2014
273
11
71
Last week I added a new Jersey Giant to my flock. She was a little aggresive, when I opened the box she was in she flew out and started running around. She had some issues with Speckles, the leader of my flock. They would peck at each other and chase eachother, and once the Jersey Giant grabbed a mouthful of Speckles' feathers and kept pulling and wouldn't let go.

This lasted for about 3 days, and then the newbie would stay in the back of the coop for about 2 days, and then finally after 5 days, she was part of the flock.
 

ThePRfan

Songster
5 Years
Sep 27, 2014
1,194
32
121
I bought 3 new chickens yesterday. Since I didn't have anywhere else to put them, I just put them in with the other chickens. The other chickens were in the run, so I put these in the coop. I got two RIRs and a Buff Orpington to add to my flock (1 black australorpe, 1 RIR and 9 gold sex link). I assumed some pestering and it happened. My question, though, is how long til things calm down? I figured 2-3 days. The old chickens leave the newbies alone until someone notices them. Then they all have to take a run at the new guys. Everything calms down for an hour or so and repeat.
Well,it depends when they find whose in this place in the peck order.It'll take a little over a week.But if things don't become better its probably because they dis like the newbies.You may end up with Dominant hens.I'll tell you my experience.

Dominant hens already there tend to fight newbies,a lot.If 1 of them is a dominant(The newbies)they are likely to fight for weeks,maybe for months,but your main worry should be dominant hens.Things won't calm if she doesn't.She's the head of the snake.She is lible to kick out newbies.Normaly lead hens/Dominant hen will slightly peck them,kick them in the back/butt.If your noticing taring combs,take them out.
 

Mister B

Songster
8 Years
Feb 7, 2013
489
37
154
NW Alabama
My lead hen is the black australorpe. She leaves the newbies alone unless they come by her. The two RIRs stay in the coop. The buff is out in the run sunning and scratching. They peck at her a little, but "momma" hasn't messed with her at all until Buffy stepoed where she was trying to scratch for grubs.
 

nayeli

Songster
6 Years
Jan 18, 2014
1,988
108
196
Well, you also should be worried about diseases since you didn't quarantine. When I added a chicken to my flock I gave them plenty of time to see her first before putting her in with them. Changing things up also helps so they aren't identifying the space as theirs as much.. move things around, clean it out, etc next time.
 

bobbi-j

Enabler
11 Years
Mar 15, 2010
15,701
32,273
1,092
On the MN prairie.
Is it possible to add a few hiding places? A pallet or piece of plywood leaned up against the fence for them to get out of sight? Do you have more than one feeding and watering station? That could help, too. Any chance you could let them out of the pen to free range? It'll give everyone something to think about. The squabbles could last a day or two, or a week or more. There's no one answer when working with any kind of living being.
 

Mister B

Songster
8 Years
Feb 7, 2013
489
37
154
NW Alabama
The coop is fairly large, about 12x12. Their run is 15x40 and there are turns in it so that they can hide. Things have quieted down a little since this morning. The RIRs seem to be a little more tolerated, but they are very young. I think they just stopped peeping maybe 3-4 months old. The buff is older, I think. She seems to be holding her own. They don't chase her now. The buff, Buffy, is really friendly. I went in the pen and she jumped at me. I can reach down and pick her up, she seems to like being petted.
 

Mister B

Songster
8 Years
Feb 7, 2013
489
37
154
NW Alabama
Finally had time to stop and look at the chickens. I've been getting in after dark all week. The newbies aren't besties with the older chickens yet. But they seem more tolerated niw. When they come out if the coop, they arent being ganged up on. Mama seems to tolerate them fine. Maybe all will be well.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
95,043
125,769
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Finally had time to stop and look at the chickens. I've been getting in after dark all week. The newbies aren't besties with the older chickens yet. But they seem more tolerated niw. When they come out if the coop, they arent being ganged up on. Mama seems to tolerate them fine. Maybe all will be well.
Sounds pretty good, there will always be some pecking and chasing...even in a group that all grew up together, it's just how they do.
As long as noone's being badly bloodied or pinned down and abused, they will work it out.
Multiple roosts and feed/water stations, places to hide or get up and away always helps.
 

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