1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!

How do you introduce pullets to a new coop?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by squeakyballs, Dec 29, 2009.

  1. squeakyballs

    squeakyballs Songster

    Feb 7, 2009
    Tucson, AZ
    We finished our chicken coop, we are just touching up the paint! Now, I'm looking for some pullets :)

    I found lots of information about how to introduce new chickens to your existing flock, but I can't find what to do when they are your first flock! Will they know to go inside the chicken house at night, if there aren't already chickens that know what to do? Do I do anything special?

    What if I get chickens from 2 or 3 different places?

    I thought I read somewhere to keep them in the coop (or was it the chicken house?) for a few days.

  2. Picky Chicky

    Picky Chicky Songster

    Sep 22, 2008
    Holly Grove, VA
    When I first got started I had 4 girls. I put them together in the coop for two weeks before letting them out. I didn't do anything special other than give them a banana that they went nuts over. I think they adjusted perfectly! Personally, I get more nervous about introducing newbies into my existing flock, but I always give extra special treats like bananas and other random fruit to keep them busy.
  3. SunnyDawn

    SunnyDawn Sun Lovin' Lizard

    Sep 12, 2009
    Nor Cal
    That's what I did with my girls once the coop was done. I kept them in the coop for 3 days before letting them out in the run. Then kept them in the run for another couple of days. They seemed to have no problems figuring out how to get to the roosts etc. and most of them headed back into the coop at dusk just fine (my DH put the ones who didn't figure it out in manually 'til they got the hang of it themselves). Good luck!

    Oh, my gals also came from different sources but were all within 3 weeks of each other. That worked out well too.
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2009
  4. paulpig

    paulpig Songster

    Apr 4, 2009
    I have also blended birds from different ages , and origins.........I like to introduce a new or several new girls at night when the flock is roosting. It seems to be so much easier on the newbies. I don't like to free range for a couple of days so everything can settle down for the flock for fear of the newbies being chased---which has never happened-----!!! For example, my son got 5 pullets from his friend because his mother was displeased with the girls being so close to the house.............Once we picked them up, introduced them to the flock, the girls left the flock the first couple of days once I free ranged them, but now.........NO way!!!! All of our chickens free range as a group................
  5. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    Just keep em in the coop for a little bit (took mine over a week) so they will know where to go at night.

    If you keep them in a run it probably takes less time, but I free range. First time I let them out and had to chase them in at night so I kept em locked in for several days longer. Never had another bedtime problem.
    1 person likes this.
  6. Sunnysideupdale Farms

    Sunnysideupdale Farms In the Brooder

    May 6, 2009
    We put our first 2 girls in the hen house at night and placed them on the roost. The next morning, we watched as they slowly tried to make their way into the run. We've done this with every new introduction, just put them in the house on the roost or roosts and let them figure out the rest... except for the last bunch. They all needed help in at night for the first week!
    1 person likes this.
  7. chickenmamalp

    chickenmamalp Songster

    Yes a day or two in the coop is good then let them free.They know to turn in at night or you might find them sitting on a branch/chair whatever they can roost on. The are easy to catch in put in if this happens.
    When you get new ones, I got a kids travel yard or pen and put them in that outside while the big girls run around then at night I put them in a cage in the coop. so they all get acquainted. My girls have chased them around but they eventually all settle in.
    good luck!!

  8. squeakyballs

    squeakyballs Songster

    Feb 7, 2009
    Tucson, AZ
    Thank you for all of the encouragement and advice! I'm really excited!

    I'll keep them in the coop for a few days before letting them into the run. I like the banana idea, I was thinking I'd hang a cabbage for them too. :)
  9. kman

    kman Chirping

    Nov 24, 2009
    if you are not going to be free ranging them i would just leave them in for a day then they should be fine. when i got started i just put mine in the coop and left the door open it actually took mine like 3 days before all of them would even come out now some where a bit brave and come out but would run back in shortly. just an idea you know your birds better than i do but most of mine are shy, so it took them awhile to adjust, once i was introducing new pullets and i accidently put a few down outside them coop it took those like 4-5 days to go inside thank god we do not have a bad predator problem and was having good weather at the time( nothing i did would get them to stay inside) just my way of doing things, is to let them adjust naturaly and i have not had any major problems yet
  10. Percysmom

    Percysmom Chirping

    Aug 21, 2011
    My Coop
    I only had one pullet who was about 5 months old. I thought she needed a friend so I got a 6 month old pullet of the same breed. She is much larger and seems to be chasing the smaller one and won't let her eat or drink. Of course I put the bigger one in a fence for a while to seperate them and then I put her in and let the smaller chicken out to eat drink and free range. How long till they get along? I am worried the bigger one will hurt my origanal chicken.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by