Adding New Chicks.

Marcc

Hatching
7 Years
Oct 8, 2012
7
1
9
We have a flock of 8 hens and one rooster. Ages 6 mos to two years. We have a dozen 7-8 week olds that we have just added into a wired off section of the run so they can get used to each other. How long should we wait before letting them socialize with the rest of the flock?
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,319
20,224
907
Southeast Louisiana
You might get something useful from my posts in this thread.

https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/...t-age-chickens-and-giving-them-the-right-feed

I'd give them at least full week to get to know each other. Then let them socialize when you can be around to observe, probably on a weekend if your schedule is close to normal.

Expect some pecking. They call it the pecking order for a reason. If the young ones have room to get away, they will probably work things out.

Good luck! Sometimes these things go so smoothly you wonder what the concern was and sometimes it can be brutal.
 
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rikithemonk

Songster
7 Years
Apr 19, 2012
279
24
101
Mont Dora Florida
What ever you do, there will be fights when you combine the two groups. It's simply what chickens do. They need too hammer out the pecking order for the new group. Most people suggest not combining the new birds until they are similar in size. Adding when too small can cause excessive bullying and also doesn't give the newcomer much of a chance to become more than a bottom member.

When I added two girls to my flock it was a bit stressful (on me), but if you let them hammer out who is the head chicken, things quiet down after a few days. If you interfere, you just drag it out much much longer.

Of course, it's a chicken coop, not "Thunder dome". If you see lethal combat, or chickens on bungy cords wielding chain saws, you should step in.

Riki
 

Mr MKK FARMS

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
7 Years
Sep 27, 2012
33,764
993
476
You have to give them time. But they will fight so that the new ones can find there place in the pecking order!

Good Luck!
smile.png
 

Marcc

Hatching
7 Years
Oct 8, 2012
7
1
9
They are all together now, The wyandotts are the only ones that seem to be bothered by the new ones.
 

Marcc

Hatching
7 Years
Oct 8, 2012
7
1
9
They did great for a couple days, then some of the adults started herding them into a corner and would not let them leave. Now They are separated most of the time again. I fenced off a 10X5'area for them.
 

rikithemonk

Songster
7 Years
Apr 19, 2012
279
24
101
Mont Dora Florida
They did great for a couple days, then some of the adults started herding them into a corner and would not let them leave. Now They are separated most of the time again. I fenced off a 10X5'area for them.
You said; "some of the adults." Its not advisable to add new chickens to a flock until they are "similar in size". If the new chickens are noticeably smaller, there is little chance that they will be able to stay out of the bottom of the pecking order.

If these chickens are similar in size then pulling them back out for anything other than blood letting is a bad idea. In general you have to let them sort it out. They will fight, bully, shove, jump on, and be total dirt to each other. Its how chickens work out social order. Only remove them if you feel permanent injury will take place. Trust me when I say that although its nerve wracking, they will mesh into one flock in several weeks. But you have to let them work it out.

Riki
 

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