incorporate new chickens w existing flock

josh59

Songster
Nov 20, 2018
111
123
111
Box Elder South Dakota
So i have 7 rhode island red chickens, 1 Easter egger, and 1 rooster. My neighbor is getting rid of her chickens so I took 2, don't know the breeed, who are about the same age as ours, however, when I put them in my enclosure all my hens were attacking the new comers. I have since removed the 2 new ones as I don't want them to get hurt. Any suggestions on how to make them get along? Or should I just return the two?
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
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Nov 27, 2012
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If you don't have a good set up to integrate, you might want to give them back.
Integration works best with extra and separate space.

Here's some basic tips and links for further reading.
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.

This used to be a better search, new format has reduced it's efficacy, but still:
Read up on integration..... BYC advanced search>titles only>integration
This is good place to start reading, BUT some info is outdated IMO:
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/adding-to-your-flock
 

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