First bad intergration of my chickens today... :(


5 Years
Mar 18, 2014
I've been slowly adding my inside birds to my outdoor flock aka the big birds. I'm new to chickens but from what I've read I know it's a tricky thing to do. I started with my older birds outside first my 6 RIRs. Nexted I added my Ideal and then a week or two later I added my Barred Rock. When I added those two nothing really happened other than being picked on a little bit. Today, however, I added one of my black sex links and only a few moments later I found her outside the run and bleeding from the back of the head. I put her back indoors to hopefully recover. I wasn't out there to see which bird tried to peck her little brains out but I know I have 3 Roos one of which is clearly the boss. And I did observe the ideal chasing her some. Any ideas or suggestions for me? I know one thing I'm going to do is open up the run area. I've also been letting the reds range in the back yard some. Should I let the be introduced that way and seperate them when it's time to go in for the night or what? Let me know peeps
From what I understand more room is better so they have someplace to run if conflicts arrise.

Also adding "single" new birds is harder on the new bird then if you could introduce a few at a time. Some folks will put an older bird in with the new bird each day so the new bird has some "friends" when she finally goes into the main coop.

Maybe add a pen inside of your run and introduce a few chicks that way? There is safety in numbers so try to introduce more than one OR help the new one make some friends before being throw into the main flock.
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Never thought of adding them together or a pen inside the run. I can try both of those. Thanks.
I agree with Sonia. Unless you have some reason for slowing introducing them I would introduce the new birds together as a group--especially if they have all been raised together as your indoor flock. It gives the new birds strength in numbers and in my opinion would be less stressful overall. Change is really hard on chickens and to keep introducing new change after new change again and again may be a little rough on them. One new bird against your whole flock is a target.

I have found a lot of success with the "playpen method" and will move the new birds into the chicken run in a crate or brooder--so that the new flock and the old flock can see each other and live in the same space, but not hurt one another, I have them live like that for a week plus before letting them all out together. There are still some squabbles but it has helped with the bad violence overall.

I also recommend making sure there are two feeders and two waterers in your coop for the first few weeks, far from one another -- it can help a little with competition, and bullying and food guarding.

Good luck!
What ages of birds are we dealing with?

I agree on the not adding one bird at a time, add them all together. Safety in numbers is a real thing!
You may want to wait a little longer until the little ones are a bit older. The more similar is size they are all, the better off you are going to be. 5 weeks is pretty young.
I'd put them all together all at once. If you have enough space for them, which you should, they'll be fine. Set up some hiding spots for the littles to get behind and break line of sight. The 10 week old birds aren't old enough to be really mean like mature hens can be.
I hung around outside today and watched them and it's two Roos that are the meanies.

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