Chicken introduction

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by petechie, Mar 22, 2017.

  1. petechie

    petechie New Egg

    Mar 22, 2017
    Sacramento CA
    I have introduced new members to a flock in the past but had a sad turn of events this time. I had 5 layers and pickup 10 chicks and raising them just fine. My old chicken tractor was falling apart I was in the process of building a new coop and run to move the old birds and new ones into. Before I finished the new coop my 2 Brittanys managed to get the screen open enough to flush all but one of the older hens out to there death. The hen that didn't flush out of the tractor was on the bottom of the pecking order. The chicken I have left is very shy. I have shown the the older chicken the babies and she has showen no interest and walked away. My question

    Do I still need to wait until the chicks close to her size before I introduce them.
  2. PD-Riverman

    PD-Riverman Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 14, 2012
    Conway SC
    If they get along----go for it. If they don't---get them out quick. There are several methods of introducing them if you want/need to try something different.
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC @petechie .

    There are many ways to integrate new birds...a lot of it is play it by eye, be flexible, and have separate enclosures ready if needed.

    I have started brooding chicks right in the coop and integrating starting at 4 weeks.

    Read up on integration..... BYC advanced search>titles only>integration
    This is good place to start reading, tho some info is outdated IMO:
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I never wait until they are close in size. But I have lots of room and my chicks are raised next to the adults. I normally integrate between 5 to 8 weeks, depending on circumstances. I just turned a bunch of 7-week-olds loose with the flock on Monday and they are doing great. Normally that would have been 5 weeks but the perfect storm caused me to wait that extra two weeks, just too many things going on and I do want to be able to observe.

    I don’t know how much total room you have, I think that is important. I don’t put much into that hen’s ranking in the former pecking order. I’ve seen that hens lower in the pecking order tend to be more aggressive against chicks than hens higher, but I don’t know how much of a flag that is since she is by herself. Since she is older she will be the boss, that might be enough for her.

    My suggestion is to house them side by side for a week or two so they can see each other but not get to each other. Then try letting them together when you can be around to watch. Give them as much room as you can. Aart’s “safe haven”, a hole in the fence between the two where the young ones fit but the older hen doesn’t, can be a good thing. It may work out fine, it may not. You don’t get guarantees with animal behaviors but you should have a good chance at success.

    Good luck!

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