Inroducing New Girls to Old Girls

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Beauzeaux, Jun 17, 2011.

  1. Beauzeaux

    Beauzeaux Hatching

    Oct 24, 2009
    We have four hens who are two years old. We have two new girls that just arrived 10 days ago. (They're about 12-14 weeks.) We built an an "apartment" for the new girls adjoining the coop. They are separated by wire and can see each other.

    I have let them all out at the same time and there's a little kerfuffle then the four go one way and the two another. Most of the time, I let them out separately.
    I'd like to be able to put all of them in the main coop because the apartment is a lot less secure. But I don't want the new girls murderously attacked. I've seen it in the past and don't want to see it again.

    Any advice as to how to proceed without (I hope) bloodshed?

  2. mljohnson05

    mljohnson05 Songster

    May 16, 2011
    Best thing is to let them all out at the same time (but keep them on their own sides).
    This will allow them to get to know each other and start to get use to the idea.
    It may take a while until they all "get a long"
    And personally I never let them all be housed together (not divided) until they are all the same Size..and can better hold their own.

    Best Wishes,
  3. nanawendy

    nanawendy Songster

    Dec 28, 2009
    Bellingham Wa
    I agree w/ mljohnson05 same size is a safe way to go. There will always be an adjustment period and maybe a slow down in egg production... but eventually all is well. [​IMG]
  4. momsflock

    momsflock In the Brooder

    Jan 31, 2011
    I agree too. I have 5 that are only about 2 months older than my babies and the older ones keep pecking the heck out of them. I've had them separate, but gradually been introducing them as the babies are getting bigger. I did not leave them together all day, but just a visit. I have been doing this for a month now, and some of the older ones are okay with the little one. Today I had 2 hens hurting the little ones, so I placed them in a separate cage next to everyone. All the babies and the others are getting along great now that the 2 bullies are separate.
  5. jhaley

    jhaley In the Brooder

    Jun 18, 2011
    We got new chicks this year, and have kept them separated form the older girls by some plastic chicken wire. The chicks are now 3 months old, how long til we can let them together? Some of teh chicks are bantams, I am hopeful that the bantams will hold their own against the bigger chickens (they already do with their chick-mates).
  6. christineavatar

    christineavatar Songster

    May 1, 2011
    Bolinas, CA
    I have nine 'old girls' - what was left after the raccoons finally got stopped - and nine young ones. The young ones include a rooster (the one I had was the first fatality) and they are about ten weeks old. They all free range during the day in a large fenced yard. At night the 'babies' go into a large dog crate with a door I close. The older birds go into the coop and I close them in there. When I first put the chickens and chicks together, the rooster made a stand as if he was the boss - the alpha hen explained to him that he wasn't and now they all get along fine. I was planning on using a smaller dog crate and putting in inside the coop in the next day or two to get the young ones used to sleeping with the older. The crate would have a larger gauge screen over the front to keep the older chickens out. After reading here I don't know if that is such a good idea. Any opinions?
  7. Beauzeaux

    Beauzeaux Hatching

    Oct 24, 2009
    OK, I was wrong about their ages. The New Girls are now almost 19 weeks old. They are only slightly smaller than the Old Girls.

    When they're all out of the coop they're in our front yard. Tomorrow I'm going let them all out at once. They have plenty of shrubs and trees to hide behind.

    My "plan" if I can give it such a lofty term, is to try cooping them together in three weeks. Starting with putting them all together after dark. Assuming that there are no murders during their daily outings. The separate coop is just chicken wire over a wood frame. The main chicken house is much, much more secure. (No breakins in 1-1/2 years and we have numerous racoons, coyotes, and bears.)

    Does that sound plausible?

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