Chicken politics, introducing a chicken to a small flock

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by GardenGal, Jan 1, 2012.

  1. GardenGal

    GardenGal Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,422
    22
    153
    Mar 11, 2011
    Western WA
    I'll try to keep this brief!

    Due to two unexpected roosters and a mean hen, our flock is down to 3 hens. One hen had been the leader then fell to the bottom, and she's a sweetheart in any pecking order, the other two are characters, and have never cared about pecking orders one way or the other. My question is, I would love to get another hen (I really want an EE!), but I wonder if that would be a bad idea for the new hen and would disrupt the dynamic too much. Thanks for your input!
     
  2. sharol

    sharol Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,007
    71
    231
    Jun 13, 2010
    Admire, KS
    How about introducing 2 new girls to your hens? Maybe slightly younger than the established ones. I added 5 to my existing 6 during the summer with little problem. It took several weeks of gradual introduction, though. They were separate at night for quite a while (I raise the new ones from day olds, so they were around from the time they were small). At about 12 weeks, they were all moved in to the same coop, and get along fine after some initial jockying for position.

    At first they were 2 distinct flocks, but now they range and roost together as a single flock. It did disrupt the pecking order a bit. The bottom chicken was an older EE, and now she has moved up the ladder and one of the new girls now has that position. No one is picked on, but the bottom chicken is very shy and I think she may be deaf. I'm not sure, but she doesn't seem to react to auditory stimulation. 4 of the new girls are EE's and one is a Buff Orp, and they are all very nice chickens. My head chook is a Golden Campine that rules the roost (another chicken saying, I guess) with a firm hand/foot, but she isn't mean.

    Good luck with the chickens. Aren't they fun to watch?
     
  3. GardenGal

    GardenGal Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,422
    22
    153
    Mar 11, 2011
    Western WA
    Thanks, Sharol. Our coop is just over 4 feet square, so it would be tight for more than four chickens. Their run is big enough for 10 - not that they want to hang out in it! If it's best for the chickens to incorporate them two at a time I'll wait until we have a bigger coop. And yes, I just love watching the chickens [​IMG]

    Any one else have an opinion on adding just one hen?
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2012

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by