integrating lots of hens into already medium sized flock

hilaryc

Hatching
6 Years
Apr 16, 2013
3
0
7
hey there, I see a lot of posts about adding a hen or 3 to an existing flock. Any suggestions for adding 11 new hens(about 1.5 yrs old) to an existing group of 18? I see putting the new ladies in at night seems to be the consensus, but wondering if there's any thought on segregating them for a period of time or just letting them sort it all out. We free-range them during the day and the existing group goes into their roost at night. Thanks for any/all suggestions!
 

ChickensAreSweet

Heavenly Grains for Hens
9 Years
Jun 8, 2010
15,100
712
398
Pacific NW- where the Douglas Firs grow
It is good to quarantine for a month to watch for respiratory and other illnesses (although there are diseases that can pass quarantine, as they could be asymptomatic carriers). Make sure to dust for mites and lice, and retreat in 7 days for mites (2 weeks for lice). Be on the lookout for worms as well.

With that many chickens they may be just fine at integration. However, be alert for real pecking and not backing down...if they look as though they may be killed, they might. Normal pecking order business is OK.

Your new hens might need to be confined to the coop and immediate area around the coop to train them to lay eggs there though. I'd put up chicken wire in a small area around the coop for a week or so and force everyone to stay nearby. You'd have to give them enough space that they don't peck each other in boredom.
On the other hand, your new ladies might adjust to laying their eggs in the right place just fine. So you could just see how it goes.
 
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