Best way to introduce a new chicken to the flock?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by MedfordChick, Jul 11, 2011.

  1. MedfordChick

    MedfordChick Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 18, 2010
    We have 3 Americauna hens in our little city flock. This spring, we got a fourth chicken, a rhode island red that we named Polly, since our city allows up to 4 hens. We have been raising her apart from the flock because we didn't want her to get picked on since she was just a little chick. We put her in the coop during the day, while the big hens are in our chicken tractor. At night, we move the big hens back to the coop, and put Polly in the tractor.

    We'd like to have all of them living together by winter, since we'll be unable to use the tractor because we get lots of snow. But every time we put Polly in with the big girls, they chase her around and peck at her. What is the best way to integrate her into the new flock without her getting pecked and bullied? Or will she get pecked and bullied no matter what we do?
     
  2. Dar

    Dar Overrun With Chickens

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    Jul 31, 2008
    each hen house is different. with my first hens they could not care less who came into their house... this older bunch are are very angry when we have a new addition.

    I use a dog crate at night and that way I know the new hen is safe. but still in the coop i will let the others out first and then cloet the chicken door locking the older ones outside with some treats then I open the crate and let the new one out and roam the coop eat a bit then I will open the chicken door again allowing the new one to roam with the others but I have noticed they (the new chickens) take a while to leave the coop (like a few days) when they do get the courage to mingle i will watch them. taking my tea and toast out to the porch and watch them and at the first sign of trouble i will walk over but i dont get involved unless they are ganging up on the new one.

    I keep crating the new one till there is no more play yard aggression them I will allow them to roost together. I have a high roost on one wall and a low roost on the other wall i find the newbies will hang out on the low roost for a while
     
  3. fluffandpuffchicks

    fluffandpuffchicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 9, 2011
    Pennsylvania
    I just put my chicks in the hen house... lets just say im buying the surviving chicks a little coop for themselves! hope everything works with little Polly! [​IMG]
     
  4. MedfordChick

    MedfordChick Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 18, 2010
    Thanks guys. Dar, that is something to consider using the dog crate, like a pen within the pen.

    Other ideas I have run accross:

    -Sneak the chicken in overnight, that way she'll just be there in the morning.

    -Put all the chickens in a completely different coop. They will be so worried about their new surroundings that they wont care about a new chicken.

    -Coat the new chicken with something icky so that if they peck at her, they get a mouthful of yuck.

    Has anyone tried any of these ideas before?
     

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