How do I integrate my new chicks with my other ladies?


In the Brooder
Mar 6, 2018
I have 3 ladies that are about 4 months old. Two are already laying but Chickie Minaj my golden laced Wyandotte is holding out. She is the top dog and very dominant with the others ever since her sister Bonnie was killed by a red tailed hawk. (They are all safely netted in the yard now). I have 5 new chicks that are 5 weeks old. I take them outside every day and watch them carefully to make sure the hawk doesn't get them, but I would like to integrate them with the ladies. Sadly Chickie has other ideas. She attacks them whenever I put them in the main run. Should I just wait for them to get bigger or is there something you would recommend to curb this behavior? This is my husband last week with them outside on the far side of the net away from the ladies.
The chicken whisperer.jpg

I would build an area that is netted/fenced, inside the main run. It can be just a simple set up. This way the chicks and big girls can see and be close to each other without being able to touch. Let them get used to this for a while. When they seem more calm around each other, you can lift the bottom of the chick netting a bit, allowing the babies room to get out and back in if they get pecked on, but the big girls cant get into their area. Integrating can take a long time and it is sometimes awful to watch. Be patient. As the littles grow, they will be better able to protect themselves.
The best way to integrate new flock members is to pen them separately where they can see and hear each other for a couple weeks. I used to use chicken wire and stake to separate a small area in the run, with a dog house inside for shelter. But staking chicken wire is a pain sometimes. So I went online and bought a metal cage-like puppy play pen that I can use to accomplish the same thing, only it sets up in about 30 seconds. Much easier! There will still be some fighting once you fully release the newbies with the established flock, but that is just them figuring out the new pecking order.
Thank you for your responses! I am staking out a separate run for the girls inside the ladies run. We will see how it goes.

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