How do you introduce new chickens to the flock?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Wild Pony, Oct 10, 2017.

  1. Wild Pony

    Wild Pony In the Brooder

    Sep 8, 2017
    I recently added 10 new ISA Brown birds to my existing flock of seven. My one rooster and two hens act very aggressive towards them and will not allow them to roost with them at night.

    These birds came from a large chicken producing facility. They prefer to stick together and will not move and do not wander like my free roaming birds.

    How do I make the transition easier for them?

    What should I have done? (first time introducing new birds)

  2. Frazzemrat1

    Frazzemrat1 Crowing

    May 8, 2017
    Eastern Connecticut
    The easiest way to solve that problem is to wait until full dark, when everybody's asleep. Then put the newer girls up, on the roosts. Once everybody sleeps together they're usually friendlier.
    IZZYBELLA likes this.

    IZZYBELLA Songster

    Jan 11, 2013
    Some degree of fighting is inevitable when you merge flocks. The pecking order has to be established. Same goes for the roosting... they are very territorial about their roosts! The good news is that you have 10 new birds, so there is safety in numbers with that. Here is what I find to be the ideal (albeit tedious) way to introduce new members to the flock.

    1. Quarantine to make sure the birds don't develop any disease.
    2. Do several days of "look but don't touch." I run fencing down the middle of the run.
    3. Do some supervised free-ranging to make sure they interact on neutral ground without attacking each other.
    4. At night place the new birds on the roost. Keep a close eye the next morning when they wake up to make sure they aren't being attacked. Usually once they have roosted together once they will accept them.

    Another key thing I find in easing the transition is to have multiple water and food stations. The bullies can't hog them all, so it cuts down on fighting!
    Frazzemrat1 likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: