help - new hens introduction

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by zippy123, Dec 8, 2014.

  1. zippy123

    zippy123 In the Brooder

    Sep 15, 2014
    Hi All

    I hope you all can help. I am a real newbie to hen keeping. I have a large back garden that I keep three hens. Well I thought ey were three hens but turns out two were cockrels! So I have rehomed one and the other goes this weekend. I then went back to the person I got them off and she gave me an older laying hen and a 10 week old chick. Well the remaining cockerel and hen have bullied the other two badly. I was able to separate them but the new ones won't roost in the coop tonight and I can't catch one to put it in the coop. She is roost I in the garden which isn't really safe. Any ideas to help them get along and get the new ones into the coop at night?

    Thanks in anticipation.
  2. zippy123

    zippy123 In the Brooder

    Sep 15, 2014
    Just an update. I have managed to get my new hens into the run but ey won't go into the coop. At least they will be safe in the run tonight.

    I was thinking that tomorrow, I could let my two older chooks free range and give the new ones the run of the coop and run? They would all be able to see each other but they would be separate. Do you think this would be a good idea?
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Here's some notes I've taken on integration that I found to be very helpful.
    See if any of them, or the links provided, might offer some tips that will assist you in your situation:

    Integration of new chickens to flock.

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

    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.

    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.

    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.

    Read up on integration..... BYC advanced search>titles only>integration
    This is good place to start reading:
  4. zippy123

    zippy123 In the Brooder

    Sep 15, 2014
    Thanks for the reply. The idea about a smaller crate for the wee one is good :)

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