Integrating 3 POL hens with 2 separated hens

KarynA

Hatching
Aug 8, 2021
5
1
9
Long backstory: A couple of weeks ago I rescued 3 ex-battery caged hens and one of them died within 4 days, leaving me with 2.

The next day one of the remaining hens (the less assertive one) was injured with a cut about 3 inches below her vent. I'm pretty sure it was an accident and not bullying.

We got the wound cleaned up and sprayed with the purple antiseptic spray and the wound is healing nicely now.

We have kept them in separate, adjoining runs during the day and at night we put Dot into a dog crate in our shed to protect her from predators.

We picked up 3 POL hens this weekend, and have the runs and coop split into 3 separate areas so they can see by not touch.

Now for the advice bit: what is the best way to integrate all of them into a flock?
I was thinking of attempting to integrate the less assertive one in with the POL ones and once everything has sorted between them, integrate the bossy one with all of them.

I'd also thought about reintegrating the 2 ex-battery hens first, then integrating the ex-bats and the POL.

Or... Integrating them all at the same time.

I was planning on doing the introduction(s) free range, my garden is reasonably large (for the UK) and has lots of things to break line of site and hiding spaces.

Any help is greatly appreciated!
 

Mrs. K

Free Ranging
12 Years
Nov 12, 2009
9,461
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656
western South Dakota
haha - I am for doing it all at once - the more discombobulated they all are the better. Strange place and strange birds, make for less confrontations. A couple of dust ups, a bit of bluster and it will be over.

If you have had one group in the set up you want everyone - move things a bit, rearrange or stick a box in there, move the water and feed dishes.

If you have one that is truly wicked, you can put her in a separate area, as you seem to have them set up. But I would try all of them all together, very late in the afternoon, early evening.

Good luck,

Mrs K
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Nov 27, 2012
100,655
143,733
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SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
haha - I am for doing it all at once - the more discombobulated they all are the better. Strange place and strange birds, make for less confrontations. A couple of dust ups, a bit of bluster and it will be over.

If you have had one group in the set up you want everyone - move things a bit, rearrange or stick a box in there, move the water and feed dishes.

If you have one that is truly wicked, you can put her in a separate area, as you seem to have them set up. But I would try all of them all together, very late in the afternoon, early evening.

Good luck,

Mrs K
Good points!
 

KarynA

Hatching
Aug 8, 2021
5
1
9
Thanks aart and Mrs. K! I was trying to use chicken psychology to determine the best way, but they all seemed to be viable options and wanted some insight from others who have more experience than myself.

Once the new girls start putting themselves to bed at night consistently (Ginger goes to bed, but I have to place Betty and Edna in), I will let them all out to free range one evening with supervision and see how it goes.
 

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