adding new hens to my other hens.

Just Darren

In the Brooder
Apr 5, 2017
18
0
15
I have 4 hens the 3 Rhode island hens who are very passive. and 1 sexlink who is very aggressive. The Sexlink became dominate after we got rid of the roosters 2 weeks a go she peck at my wife now. (yes birds can tell male and female in humans my brothers raises Macaws and other parrots has has confirm this). Mono our Sexlink hen is the alpha female. A farmer is bring us 2 or 3 Amercana aka eater eggers that are slightly older than out existing flock. Now I here how difficult it is to introduce chickens to flock but all the case I here had a rooster in the mic. how about when they are all hens. Mono keep to her self when there where roosters she was more independent and was a sweet chicken now she is a terror to my wife most of all his she doesn't get meal worms blue berries or other treats. I feel introducing slightly older hens will be more of a help that a hindrances and may put Mono in her place. But do hen fight like roosters do. How badly can hens fight I personally have only seen roosters go at each other. What i need to know can I introduce hens to a flock that is only hens quicker. Is it easier minus any roosters.
 

Mrs. K

Free Ranging
11 Years
Nov 12, 2009
8,948
11,333
636
western South Dakota
adding a single rooster to a flock of hens is one of the easiest additions to a flock. However adding hens to a flock can be a bit of a trick. Adding a single hen is the worst.

I like to think of it as plus and minuses.
Older +, younger -
home territory +, stranger -
larger group + smaller group -

Your set up: 4 (bigger group, home territory, younger) ++++ ++++ ---- so +4
New birds 2 (Older ++, smaller group--, stranger --
a slight advantage to your original birds, but not a lot.

A lot depends on the space you have. And what your run looks like. Sometimes I see runs that are just empty rectangles, and a great deal of vertical space is wasted. Setting up some roosts in the run, some platforms, some walls leaned against a wall lets less dominant chickens get away from more aggressive birds.

I would wait till your birds go to roost, add the new girls to the run while there is still some light left, and then let them work it out. Some people are happier separating them with a panel for a few days where they can see but not attack. Some people quarantine and there is a real risk if you do not, however, if you can't quarantine correctly, you may as well not quarantine. Most people do not have that kind of set up, or that big of a financial risk.

You will be increasing your flock, so you should check your measurements of your set up, sometimes as chickens become full size, what was enough space is no longer enough space. That can lead to aggression that you are describing. You might add another new bird and cull that mean bird from your flock. Sometimes there are birds that don't work out, don't feel bad, just give her away or to the soup pot, but don't keep a bird that makes your wife miserable. This would make the plus and minuses a bit more even. Maybe the farmer would do a trade.

Mrs K
 
Last edited:

BreanneRN

Crowing
Jun 8, 2017
1,041
2,014
262
Central CA
I often found with adding other chickens to a group it was a bigger problem if they were younger, smaller, different color/appearance, nicer, or fewer in number they were more likely to be picked on. I found that splitting the coop was the answer. If they get used to seeing each other without being able to attack, they will eventually lose the desire, or even see it as a possibility, and then the 2 groups can be integrated and the barrier taken down. Another option is to make a bigger coop somewhere else and mix them up in the new area, though this would possibly not work unless both groups were similar in age, size and numbers.
 

Just Darren

In the Brooder
Apr 5, 2017
18
0
15
The hen house is 4 feet by 6 feet with an eating areas under it the four hen only take up less that a quarter of the main roost and there are 3 nesting boxes the run is a converted dog kennel about 10 feet by 15 feet seems large enough when the four roosters where there it was plenty of room for all eight.

The problem with the hen that pecks at my wife is that when the roosters where around she was the sweetest hen loved being picked up. i think the main problem with her is for a time we gave them treats like blue berries and meal worms she got to expect hen and now we give then treat like that less often she has became like a spoiled brat that at last is my theory so we have cut then off from special treats fro the time we still give them dinner scraps that are ok for them but we also want them to start eating there scratch more/

So I am getting the older hens tomorrow and will let them see each other though out the day before putting then together tomorrow at dusk. Then Sunday morning will observe then to see if they work things out.
 

Just Darren

In the Brooder
Apr 5, 2017
18
0
15
Thinks so much for the advise giving. I add three new chickens to my flock and every thing went off very well I do not know if I was just lucky or not. I did not have an extra pen nor had the time to let them be introduced slowly a farmer sold me three Arucana not sure the spelling they lay olive green eggs and they are black. But I put them in a large dog create Saturday and the where set up next to the run most of the afternoon and late morning. My flock check them out but no fighting though the cages went on. That evening after sunset at last light we put then in the coop. I got up early and there was squabbling going on for a bit but after that every thing was peaceful no guarding of the food by Mono the Alpha female sexlink. The new chickens love it they came from a flock of around 300 and they are happy to have much more freedom and better feed. We even treated all the chickens to fresh black berries (yea I spoil my chickens). But they all are together and working things out just fine. I am so happy and my new chickens have giving us some new eggs. funny thing is this came at the same time that my Rhode Island Reds gave us some eggs for the first time. They didn't get to free range today because I want the new girls to get used to there run and coop but I am pleased that our hens all getting alone and all laying both new and original hens. we raise eggs but they are also pets and there well being is important to me. Mono still pecks my wife but my wife is ok with it. Since our birds also consider us part of the flock. I consider getting chickens as a good choice and a rewarding one as well. My brother raise exotic parrots but my chickens have personalities and are a joy for me and my wife just as much as my brother expensive birds and just and fun to have around.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom