integrating hens

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by BusyGirl57, Jan 13, 2017.

  1. BusyGirl57

    BusyGirl57 Out Of The Brooder

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    I have 2 hens that will be 2 years old next month and 5 hens that will be 1 year next month. When they are out of the pens, they for the most part are fine together. My "Firecracker" even after losing all her feathers is still the "mean girl" and goes after all of them from time to time. I want to put the 2 older ones in with the 5 younger ones so I can get ready for a new batch. Any suggestions on how the best way would be to do this. Tomorrow I was planning to try to place them in with the others for an hour or so to see what happens. Is this a good idea???
     
  2. Hopefeathers

    Hopefeathers Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 6, 2017
    Have they been able to see each other through a fence? If so, a supervised introduction sounds fine.
     
  3. BusyGirl57

    BusyGirl57 Out Of The Brooder

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    Yes they are together out in the yard usually on a daily basis and don't seem to bother each other except for firecracker--not sure what to do with her-she is mean.
     
  4. Hopefeathers

    Hopefeathers Out Of The Brooder

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    Then they should be fine together all the time. Some chickens seem to just be that way. She might throw a fit at first but chances are, they'll work out a pecking order soon enough.
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Space is key.... the more space the fewer problems you will have....and integration takes extra space.
    There's a good article linked in my signature on Space, I suggest you read it.

    Chronic feather pecking can have several causes, starting with crowding and/or inadequate nutrition, and can become an ingrained 'bad' behavior difficult, sometimes impossible, to 'cure'.

    More links to read:
    Read up on integration..... BYC advanced search>titles only>integration
    This is good place to start reading, tho some info is outdated IMO:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/adding-to-your-flock
     
  6. Hopefeathers

    Hopefeathers Out Of The Brooder

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    I hadn't thought of that!! Great advice!
     
  7. cstronks

    cstronks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You'll want to put the hens in the new pen but use a fence so that the chickens can see the new birds but not touch them. This allows for acclimation.

    As for your firecracker, there is always a bird at the top of the pecking order, but once you add the new hens fully the flock will reestablish itself. Don't be surprised to see some chasing and aggression until the new order is determined.

    Best of luck!
     

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