Help with introducing new hens

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Abbie79, Oct 18, 2013.

  1. Abbie79

    Abbie79 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 7, 2013
    Pineville, LA
    Question for chicken flock experts! I started out with five 2 week old sexed pullets for our first backyard flock in March. Long preditor story short we were down to two as of this month. They are almost 9 months old, and have been laying since the beginning of August. After finally preditor proofing our girls, I bought two more this Thursday to replace our losses. One 7ish months, and one 4ish months. We introduced them through the fence first, and they did notice each other. We let them get familiar until this afternoon (Friday), and then let them roam together. I observed them for a while, and saw some mild bossing from my girls to the new girls, but nothing major, and then they seemed ambivalent to one another. After a few hours I checked again, and the fourish month old was laying still. When I got to her I saw that they had pecked her little head bloody! She is in a seperate pen now with vitamin and electrolyte supplements in her water, and doesn't seem to be seriously injured. The other, older new girl is completely peck free, but I noticed she still runs from my two or hides. When night fell, they were all three roosting together in the coop so I left the new girl with them when I locked them in. I plan to let them out before dawn so she can run and hide if she needs to though.
    My question is, will I be able to integrate the two new girls successfully? How can I do it? I don't want to keep the youngest girl a stranger to a full grown flock until she is older, but I definitely don't trust my girls not to kill her. Help? If it's helpful to know my two girls are a Columbian Rock and a Red Sussex. The older new girl is a Silver Laced Wyndotte, and the baby is a Buff Orpington.
     
  2. chickenrun1020

    chickenrun1020 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 23, 2012
    North Grosvenordale, CT
    How long did you introduce them through the fence? They msy need more time. Im sure you will be able to have successful introduction in the future. Do you have places for the new girls to hide? I leave a pile of branches in my run, it seems to help.
     
  3. chickenrun1020

    chickenrun1020 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 23, 2012
    North Grosvenordale, CT
    By the way im in no way an expert...lol only a chicken mother for 2 years. With one successful introduction and another one in the making...
     
  4. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 15, 2011
    SE Pa.
    A through the wire introduction should last at least a week, be for mingling them. Then if you have a large area for them to wander in with things to break lines of sight up works best. Put the young one back into a partitioned part of the coop/run for her healing time. If you could put the other new one with her so when you reintroduce she isn't an only one. Singles have a much harder time.
     
  5. Abbie79

    Abbie79 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 7, 2013
    Pineville, LA
    Well unfortunately we had a new kind of attack. A neighborhood dog dug under the gate (the only area where chicken wire wasn't buried), and pried the bottom opening part of the gate ajar. They took my new silver laced wyndotte, and my favorite best pet girl, the Colombian Rock. I was so sick when I got home from work, and found this carnage. We ended up building an entire new chicken yard that is better fortressed than Thermopylae. I purchased four more girls of the same age as the Buff Orp (2 buff orpingtons and 2 speckled sussex) to add in with the bullied buff orp and the grown RIR. I kept the new girls separate with the bullied new girl for a few days, and then put them all into the coop together at night. The next morning they all waited for my original girl to exit, and then followed. We've had no pecking incidents, other than the order establishment, to date! I miss my Colombian Rock so much, but it has all worked out anyway.
     

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