How to introduce new chickens to the flock

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Cadbury22, Mar 28, 2017.

  1. Cadbury22

    Cadbury22 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We recently bought new chickens to expand our flock. Our existing flock is very serious about the pecking order. I don't know how to introduce the new chickens without them getting seriously injured/killed. The new chickens are three weeks now, so we're not letting them out yet. When we do let them outside we want to know what to do to introduce them.We want them to be able to free range together without someone getting hurt/killed. The new chickens are already starting to determine their pecking order. The two chicks Amber and Midnight are starting to face off, but they don't understand Nugget is dominant outside. We have never introduced two flocks before. Please help if you can. Thanks. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2017
  2. Cadbury22

    Cadbury22 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    "Keep calm and love chickens"
     
  3. LilJagsFarm

    LilJagsFarm Just Hatched

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    I block off a section of the run and provide some shelter for the new ones which allows them to see the older birds but not touch. The key is to first let the little ones grow at least closer to the size of the adults before allowing any interaction at all. How long exactly depends on the what size your existing chickens are compared to the newbies. I usually leave it like this for about a month. This seems to help work out some of the pecking order ahead of time. I've had new birds killed by thinking that they'll just work it out.

    My birds free range as well, but during this intro period only the older ones go out. The newbies stay put in their own little space. Since I've started doing things this way, I haven't had any real big issues.
     
  4. Cadbury22

    Cadbury22 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sounds like a good plan. I'll try it when they are old enough to go out.
     
  5. mclanea

    mclanea Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We are starting this process right now. We have 3 year old hens and we have two 5-week old chicks who are starting to outgrow their brooder.

    For the last week or so I've been giving them some time in the yard for "supervised play time" when the older chickens are out in the yard. It's really weird as the 3 adult hens hang out around the brooder box all day. But as soon as I take the chicks out they keep their distance. The top of the pecking order hen doesn't want to have anything to do with the babies... she won't hardly look at them. But the other two will come up for a look. The middle of the pecking order hen has pecked at the chicks a couple of times, just to let them know where they stand.

    Last couple of days I've been extending this to about 45 minutes and I just go inside since they kind of have 2 different groups. Around that time the chicks start chirping for me, I go out and get them, they drink a ton of water and take a nap.

    I guess we just keep extending this period of time until they get big enough to go in the coop? They are just about feathered out now, just need to get bigger.
     
  6. Cadbury22

    Cadbury22 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That sounds like a really good plan. Introducing them gradually. I really hope to have one large happy flock together. Hope it works out for you, and for us.
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
  8. GardenJen77

    GardenJen77 Out Of The Brooder

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    My chickens aren't free range, due to having dogs that think they are chew toys. The younger chicks ( 7 weeks old now) are in a brand new coop and large run, which is where I want to eventually have all my chickens. How would I go about introducing my older flock to them, since they are in runs, and not free range? The two coops are on opposite ends of the property.
     
  9. klucas80

    klucas80 Out Of The Brooder

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    I have a question. I have one game bird mix which is just about laying age (any day now) and two 12 week old females (I hope). The game bird has been in an enclose cage for closed to a month so that they can get to know each other gradually. I allowed her out for some free play and the rooster is really gung ho about keeping her away from the food. The flock only has three hens and one roo to start with. All but our Ameraucana has chased her away. Am I doing something wrong? I'd like to know before I put the other two hens outside in the same manner.
     

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