Five additions to the pack (doubling the pack)

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Orangekazzie, Mar 14, 2016.

  1. Orangekazzie

    Orangekazzie Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 18, 2016
    Hi there
    We had an unbalanced mix of birds (2 Roos and 3 hens) so asked a local if he could get us five more hens.

    He duly arrived with them yesterday and we put them into a temporary isolation unit. We thought that as they were different sizes of the same colour and breed that they were either family or at least used to each other. Unfortunately one or two have been picking on one of the medium sized birds and pecking the backs of her legs making them bleed. I kept her separate all day today until they had stopped bleeding and poured iodine on the wounds ( the stuff we have here doesn't sting).

    Should I leave them to fight it out or keep this one separate. Problem is I don't really have another unit I could put her in. My original flock are in the main coop and we built an isolation unit for any we needed to keep separate for any reason.

    Also how long would you keep the additional ones separate before integrating. As I'm doubling the size would a couple of days be enough or would you suggest longer?

    So much to learn.

    Thank you

  2. TheTwoRoos

    TheTwoRoos Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 25, 2015
    Whenever I get chickens,I put them with others in less then three days,sometimes right away.

    I let them fight it out.My chickens don't kill others,but they will fight hem.
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Your 2 cockbirds may still be too many, adding more birds might complicate that problem.
    Having an injured bird that you have now separated may be setting up yet another integration problem.
    The new birds you have may not have been previously living together and that may be why they are attacking the one. I'd get that injured bird back with the other new ones first.

    Lots of space and multiple feed/water stations makes integrating new birds much easier for all involved.
    Do you have a run or are you free ranging?
    How big is your coops and runs (feet by feet)?

    Here's some notes I've taken on integration that I found to be very helpful.......
    ......take what applies or might help and ignore the rest.
    See if any of them, or the links provided at the bottom, might offer some tips that will assist you in your situation:

    Integration of new chickens into flock.

    Consider medical quarantine:
    BYC Medical Quarantine Article
    Poultry Biosecurity
    BYC 'medical quarantine' search

    It's about territory and resources(space/food/water). Existing birds will almost always attack new ones.
    Understanding chicken behaviors is essential to integrating new birds into your flock.

    Confine new birds within sight but physically segregated from older/existing birds for several weeks, so they can see and get used to each other but not physically interact. Integrating new birds of equal size works best.

    The more space, the better.
    Birds will peck to establish dominance, the pecked bird needs space to get away. As long as there's no blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down, let them work it out. Every time you interfere or remove new birds, they'll have to start the pecking order thing all over again.

    Multiple feed/water stations. Dominance issues are most often carried out over sustenance, more stations lessens the frequency of that issue.

    Places for the new birds to hide out of line of sight and/or up and away from any bully birds.

    In adjacent runs, spread scratch grains along the dividing mesh, best of mesh is just big enough for birds to stick their head thru, so they get used to eating together.

    Another option, if possible, is to put all birds in a new coop and run, this takes the territoriality issues away.

    For smaller chicks I used a large wire dog crate right in the coop for the smallers. I removed the crate door and put up a piece of wire fencing over the opening and bent up one corner just enough for the smallers to fit thru but the biggers could not. Feed and water inside the crate for the smallers. Make sure the smallers know how to get in and out of the crate opening before exposing them to the olders. this worked out great for me, by the time the crate was too small for the them to roost in there(about 3 weeks), they had pretty much integrated themselves to the olders. If you have too many smallers to fit in a crate you can partition off part of the coop with a wire wall and make the same openings for smallers escape.

    Best example ever of chick respite and doors by azygous

    Read up on integration..... BYC advanced search>titles only>integration
    This is good place to start reading:
  4. Orangekazzie

    Orangekazzie Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 18, 2016
    Hi thank both for responding.

    Update is. I applied some more iodine onto the wounds (which were no longer bleeding but I wanted to make sure it was healing) I put her back with the new ones. No fighting today so far. The run they are in is approx 9 feet x 6 feet and their coop is 6 feet x 4 feet x 5 feet high. They've got two perches the length and width and three nesting boxes in the coop. They will roam free in a couple of days after I've clipped their wings so they'll have just under a third of an acre to roam. One of the new ones produced an egg today.

    The other coop which my original birds are housed is next door to the new one but is approx. a foot bigger on all dimensions 7 x 5 x 5.5 and their run is approx 9 feet x 9 feet. The original birds all roam free all day but at dusk get locked into the run then after they've made their way into bed their inner door gets locked.

    Both coops have food and water as do the runs.

    Thank you for the links I'll read them through.

    Cheers for your support and help.


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