Brought new chickens home...

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by itsbob, Aug 11, 2013.

  1. itsbob

    itsbob Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Brought six new chickens home, 2 silkies, 2 Amercaunas and 2 smaller birds but they haven't been welcomed very well.

    The two groups were separate all day on different sides of a fairly large run.. original birds were 2 Leggorns, a Buff Orpingtom and a Rock.

    The leghorns have been especially mean actually forcing one of the Ameracaunas to stay in the coop, every time she came out they would jump on her and force her back in..

    So tonight we come home and all the new chickens are roosting in the run and all the original chickens are in the coop roosting.. not ONE new bird is in the coop.

    Should I be worried?
     
  2. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Only if there were bleeding wounds and if you run isn't predator proof. With a cold introduction like that it can get worse then what you described. If you don't already have two feed and water stations.
     
  3. itsbob

    itsbob Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No bleeding wounds, the new chickens took the hint and stayed clear.. do have two feeding stations and can add more water stations, though right now both feeding stations are in the original smaller run..
     
  4. itsbob

    itsbob Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:AND since you brought up the term "cold introduction" , I'm guessing there was a better way to introduce them?? Can you share for my future knowledge as I'm planning on introducing several more over the next few weeks. Thanks!!
     
  5. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    Really if all the hens are the same size, I don't worry about it too much. Letting them work it out. It will upset the flock, and if you are going to add more, I think I would do it all at once and get it over with.

    Where real trouble happens is when people add a single bird, all the others know she is new, and that is a lot of thumping. Or when the added birds are too young and a great deal smaller than the big ones.

    Mrs K
     
  6. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well whether there are better ways can be debated.
    The cold introduction or integration, which you did, is when a chicken has had a chance to see the other first. Putting the new birds on the roost at night is usually a cold integration. No previous connection to start warming up the bonds first. Most of the time it goes reasonably well. My grandfather did it every year, but he was working with older hens and about a hundred hens in with sixty or seventy. But as Mrs. K pointed out there are situations where it most likely won't. The other main method is the slow integration. Where you put them where there is only a wire between them for a week or two. Then you put them together. You can depending on your situation you either let them mingle in a large run and or free range them together for a while after the period of through the wire introduction. before putting them together. I do a modified version of that. I have a tractor coop to grow out the chicks. While they are growing the flock can see them and walk up to them till they are about ten weeks. After that I hook the tractor up to the run or pasture and open it up and let them work it out. I still usually have to put them in the coop at night and remove the tractor to get them to use the regular coop.
     
  7. Trishkabob

    Trishkabob Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Could I weigh in with a question here?
    My situation: 2 older birds who have always been together, happily (they were subordinate to a top bird who was killed in March). We didn't want to risk having something happen to one of them leaving theother solo so we got 3 chicks and introduced them slowly during May and June (they range free during the day and all went well, separately).
    When the little girls were almost full size (well, 2/3 size of big girls) we put them together with a chicken wire separator. Still ok, more or less, but took one nest box out of the equation for the layers...
    when we removed the wire seperating them, one of the older ones (rhe marginally dominant one) accepted the young ones but the other did not and STILL has not, 2 months later. The young ones perch on the side of (or in) one of the nest boxes. They will be laying soon and that will be more of a drag than it is now but every time they try the roost, Harriet gives them serious trouble and they scram.
    Tonight, I took Harriet out of the henhouse and shenis on a screened in porch, inside a wire dog crate, with a dark sheet over part of the cage. She was furious but as it got darker, settled down. The young ones still didn't hop on the roost until we put two of them on it (couldn't reach #3).
    Soooo,
    will this work, do you think?
    is one night enough?
    Any other wisdom appreciated. (don't mean to hijack this thread but maybe it will help us both?!)
    thanks.
     
  8. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Honestly if she hasn't drawn blood I'd leave it go. Often a mature hen will pick on pullets until they mature and start laying. The chicks that have grown up in my flock take a while to make themselves space on the roosts at night, but have no problems during the day. And when they mature they fit in not to high in the pecking order though.
     
  9. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Can you add another roost in your coop?
     
  10. Trishkabob

    Trishkabob Chillin' With My Peeps

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    yes, we did add another roost but no matter where we put it (in a narrow henhouse...2'+ x 5') Harriet attacks whoever gets on it. First, the 2nd roost was below the main one and she reached down and got them. Then it was above, and the older 2 went there so they would still be above. Side by side is too close (This sounds like Goldilocks and the porridge!)
    Harriet is so unhappy-they range more or less as a 5-some but she stays at a distance from the 3 younger ones and Eloise (who is the benign top of the pecking order). Today, she is walking around (nearby them but apart) bellowing. Just an unhappy call. Even though she is a beast to them, she is a favorite of mine and I'm worried about her.
    As well, in 2 days we are leaving for a week and we usually leave them in the pen, henhouse door open (the pen is covered) and have a friend check on them, give them treats, collect eggs, etc. But I am a tad concerned that locking them in together for a stretch, which they are usually fine with, is a bad idea right now.
    I might add that the young ones are 4 months old (today, in fact). They should begin laying soon, yes? Could that be a factor here? It is also one of the issues about the roost, since they are sleeping in the nestbox which is gross-poop and eggs, bad combo.
    I am SO NOT a farmer (obviously) and do tell me if you think I am over-micro-human-managing!
    thanks.
     

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