I don't know if this thread belongs here but I really need some help on integration

So today I put my pullets in with my other chickens. I have 4 hens and 2 roosters so we really needed more hens. As of now the pullets are 11 weeks and there are 11 of them. I put them in around noon and its about 2 pm and the pullets have stayed in the corner terrified. I feel so bad. I get so angry when I see the older birds go after the pullets, especially the roosters who are complete jerks. I'm thinking about taking the pullets back out and trying again when the older birds are asleep. Anything is very much appreciated.
 

SE WA Guy

Chirping
May 14, 2020
67
118
63
Yeah, you just mixed in the junior high kids with the high school seniors. You put the white collar tax dodgers into general population...you get the idea.

But honestly, it will all settle down once they've established the new pecking order. When I integrated my new pullets in with my older birds, I kept them in a large portable dog kennel inside the run all day. Then when that got too small, I made a temporary border down the center of the run and let them see each other and get used to each other. And at first the older birds were trying to show some dominance, but due to the border, it was more for show than outright aggression.

If you have any spare chicken wire around, you can split your run/coop down the middle and just let the birds coexist in the same place until they get more used to each other. And if you don't have some lying around, it's better to spend $10 on some cheap chicken wire now and put up that temporary border than losing a chicken to some foul (fowl) play.

When you do fully integrate them, there WILL be some back and forth as each bird finds their number in the order, but it won't be near as severe.
 
Yeah, you just mixed in the junior high kids with the high school seniors. You put the white collar tax dodgers into general population...you get the idea.

But honestly, it will all settle down once they've established the new pecking order. When I integrated my new pullets in with my older birds, I kept them in a large portable dog kennel inside the run all day. Then when that got too small, I made a temporary border down the center of the run and let them see each other and get used to each other. And at first the older birds were trying to show some dominance, but due to the border, it was more for show than outright aggression.

If you have any spare chicken wire around, you can split your run/coop down the middle and just let the birds coexist in the same place until they get more used to each other. And if you don't have some lying around, it's better to spend $10 on some cheap chicken wire now and put up that temporary border than losing a chicken to some foul (fowl) play.

When you do fully integrate them, there WILL be some back and forth as each bird finds their number in the order, but it won't be near as severe.
Thank you! I will try my best.
 

keesmom

Crowing
12 Years
Jul 28, 2008
10,649
4,460
481
MA
So today I put my pullets in with my other chickens. I have 4 hens and 2 roosters so we really needed more hens. As of now the pullets are 11 weeks and there are 11 of them. I put them in around noon and its about 2 pm and the pullets have stayed in the corner terrified. I feel so bad. I get so angry when I see the older birds go after the pullets, especially the roosters who are complete jerks. I'm thinking about taking the pullets back out and trying again when the older birds are asleep. Anything is very much appreciated.
You need a divider so the new pullets can be seen but not harmed. Just tossing them in is a good way to have them injured or worse. Chickens don't like strangers and will attack unknown birds in their territory.

How large is your coop and run? Do you enough have room for all 17?
 
You need a divider so the new pullets can be seen but not harmed. Just tossing them in is a good way to have them injured or worse. Chickens don't like strangers and will attack unknown birds in their territory.

How large is your coop and run? Do you enough have room for all 17?
Yes, we do have enough room for the 17. I will definitley put up a divider.
 

Mrs. K

Free Ranging
10 Years
Nov 12, 2009
8,289
9,360
596
western South Dakota
Put up a one way divider. Something that is is a few inches off the ground, something that the chicks can get through but the older hens cannot. I have used pallets, fencing slightly off the ground, anything that will slow down a full size bird, and let a chick get away into a safe zone.

Then the chicks will get curious, and explore and retreat as needed. They will be relaxed, and happy, and within a week, they will be in the flock. This allows all of the chickens to work this out on their terms, not people control. I have been very happy with it. I would leave a food station kept in this safe zone for a could of weeks.

Mrs K
 

CluckerFamily

Songster
Feb 14, 2016
618
980
163
Wisconsin
The divider I made was simply chicken wire with 1"x1" boards on each side for structure and one in the middle-ish. I created it so that everyone had to share the same waterer. It was easy for me to fold up to get access to the entire coop. Very simple and quick to make.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
7 Years
Nov 27, 2012
84,261
97,597
1,677
SW Michigan
My Coop
11 week old birds might be too big to make a 'one way door'.
Adding females may not solve your 2 rooster problems.

Works great for chicks tho:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/integrating-new-birds-at-4-weeks-old.72603/

Yes, we do have enough room for the 17.
How big are coop and run, in feet by feet?
Dimensions and pics would help immensely here.

Here's some tips about....
Integration Basics:
It's all about territory and resources(space/food/water).
Existing birds will almost always attack new ones to defend their resources.
Understanding chicken behaviors is essential to integrating new birds into your flock.

Confine new birds within sight but physically segregated from older/existing birds for several weeks, so they can see and get used to each other but not physically interact.

In adjacent runs, spread scratch grains along the dividing mesh, best if mesh is just big enough for birds to stick their head thru, so they get used to eating together.

The more space, the better.
Birds will peck to establish dominance, the pecked bird needs space to get away. As long as there's no copious blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down and beaten unmercilessly, let them work it out. Every time you interfere or remove new birds, they'll have to start the pecking order thing all over again.

Multiple feed/water stations. Dominance issues are most often carried out over sustenance, more stations lessens the frequency of that issue.

Places for the new birds to hide 'out of line of sight'(but not a dead end trap) and/or up and away from any bully birds. Roosts, pallets or boards leaned up against walls or up on concrete blocks, old chairs tables, branches, logs, stumps out in the run can really help. Lots of diversion and places to 'hide' instead of bare wide open run.
Good ideas for hiding places:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/a-cluttered-run.1323792/
 

Sahraschweiss

Chirping
Apr 9, 2020
240
435
83
Wildwood, Missouri
I have just merged my two flocks. The big girls are 19 weeks (12 pullets at POL) and the kids are 12 weeks (7 pullets and 1cockerel). They've been in a see don't touch coop and run since they were 4 weeks. The main run is 25x30 and the little run is 12x6 completely inside the big run.

For a few weeks the big girls would peck and challenge the little ones at the fence. This would fire up the cockerel. Drama. The past week leading up to the merge the two groups would nap next to each other next to the fence. This along with my cockerel getting frisky with the little ladies made it time to merge.

First, I took the advice of others and put lots of obstacles in the run. Next I opened the door to the little run around mid morning nap. When is cooler but well after the morning pecking order and forging has been completed. Since the big girls were sleepy, the little ones didn't get rushed. Overall it went well. I left there run and coop open. At bedtime the little ones went to their coop except for the cockerel. He roosted with the big girls. I made sure to get up early to open doors so everyone could get out of the coop with minimal drama. That morning the little ones got to be part of the morning activities. We are on day three and it's mostly ok. Occasional squawking but no blood.

The big girls like the easy targets. Baby taunting is entertainment for some of them. I have a Wyandotte that goes baby bowling. Since the little ones stay together she will wait for them to get good and tight, and then will come charging at them like a defensive lineman trying to sack the quarter back. The babies scatter and squawk. She doesn't really peck them, but she certainly let's them know she is the boss of them.

Make sure plenty of water, feed, hiding places and shade. Be mindful of the temperature. Merging is stressful and adding heat can create complications.

Good luck!
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
11 Years
Feb 2, 2009
25,707
15,742
777
Southeast Louisiana
How old are your hens and roosters? That kind of behavior from the boys sounds more like it could be immature cockerels , not mature roosters. Some mature roosters will protect their hens from strange chickens though, and 11 week olds are getting pretty big.

What standards are you using when you say you have enough room for 17? You see so many different numbers on here when people talk about room that "enough" doesn't mean that much to me. I've seen people say they have plenty of room when it's actually small for a brooder, let alone grown chickens. When you say "stayed in the corner terrified" it implies it me that maybe you don't have a lot of room. You need more room when you integrate than you need when they are fully integrated and mature enough to make one happy flock. Until they mature my juveniles tend to form a separate sub-flock and avoid the older ones. if space is tight behaviors of the older ones can be brutal. That might explain why your boys are going after them.

My general recommendation is like most of the others. House them across wire from each other for a while so they get used to each other. Provide as much room as you can and maybe increase the quality of what room you have by adding clutter as Aart suggested. Separate well spread out feeding and watering stations can help. And patience, don't rush them.
 

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