Integrating new chickens with older ones - HELP

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by troutlakearts, Dec 28, 2009.

  1. troutlakearts

    troutlakearts Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 15, 2009
    We have 5 "older" girls -- about 1 year old, and 3 "younger" ones, who are now about 5 months old. When we first got the newest ones we tried putting them all together at night---didn't work out so well, the older ones literally drove the younger ones up onto the roost and they wouldn't come down at all! So we built an addition to the coop (as suggested by several people on this site) and that is where the younger ones have been ever since. They can see each other and have seemed curious. So one day we opened the "door" between the two enclosures and at first it seemed ok, they all went into the others "spaces". But then the younger ones appeared to get scared and took to the roost (again) and they stayed there. We then made sure they were all in the "younger" coop and the same thing happened, the younger ones were frightened and got up on their roost. We felt somewhat guilty for subjecting them to no food or water so we put them all back where they originally started (2 coops). That's where they still are today. We'd like to get them integrated, any suggestions?? 1) do we let them be together and just leave them alone to deal with it? 2) do we let one of the older ones into the "young" coop and see what happens? 3) do we wait until they are on their respective roosts at night, open it up and see what happens in the morning? 4) do we wait for the younger ones to start laying (probably in about a month)? HELP!! We will appreciate any and all suggestions!! [​IMG]
  2. bufforp89

    bufforp89 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2009
    Chenango Forks NY
    When I got a few new chickens after they were quarentined I just put them together and let them fight it out. I was there to supervise of course in case things got too nasty but after awhile the older chickens came around and established the pecking order and there was peace in the hen house once again. I would think that because your chickens have seen each other daily for a long time they will settle down much faster then mine did.
  3. cposz

    cposz Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 5, 2009
    Twin Cities, MN
    When we decided to put our 2 younger hens in with the 2 older ones, we picked a night and waited until just before dark and put the young ones up in the henhouse. Then a few minutes later when the older ones went up to bed, they came right back down again - clucking all the way. After a few minutes they went back up to the henhouse and we never heard another peep out of any of them. We waited about 45 minutes and went to the henhouse and looked inside. They were all settled in together - and they've happily shared a henhouse and run ever since.
  4. chookchick

    chookchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 18, 2008
    Olympia WA
    Since you sound like me, quite protective of them, you could try this--make sure the young ones have a separate feeder and waterer in their coop. Open the coops up on days when you are working around the house and can keep an eye on them. You can roost them together at night, just be sure and get there first thing in the AM to check on them. After a few days of "visitation", I think you will feel comfortable enough to let them be together. I am assuming you can't free range them?
  5. gkeesling

    gkeesling Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 24, 2008
    Hagerstown, IN
    You might try putting the young ones inthe roost where the older ones are at night after the older ones are sleeping. I"ve heard that works. Myself, I always just throw the new ones in with the older ones - assuming they are all about the same size. There is a whale of a ruckus, and a lot of pecking at first, but they always settle down after a few days when they get their pecking order established. I"ve had a few of the new, younger hens, go up on the roost to get away, but they will come down to get food and water after awhile. I also put up some type of lean to board or something the new ones can go hide behind if they want to.
  6. troutlakearts

    troutlakearts Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 15, 2009
    Thanks so much for the input! No, we can't really free-range them because where we live have hawks and other predatory animals (not to mention no real fence to keep them home). Love hearing advice from all of you who have more experience than we do, so please keep the comments coming! Thanks a lot! [​IMG]
  7. little horse

    little horse Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 10, 2008
    centerville texas
    i am interested in how you get along as i have 5 ,6 year old chickens the golden girls as i call them! and have some small chicks about 2 months old and i am worried about them all getting along when i introduce them to each other!! i too am protective of them all!!
  8. cindynavarrette

    cindynavarrette New Egg

    May 17, 2011
    I've had the same problem with my 6 new chicks: 3 Rhode Island Red and 3 Black Astralorps. The older chickens are just one year old; 3 White Leghorns and 2 Araucana (cross bred). The Araucana chase the new chicks into their temporary house which is a 7' long dog house. The Leghorns don't bother the new chicks at all. The little ones are so afraid they run into the dog house as soon as the bullies approach. We're going to make the pen larger and keep them separate for the time being so that the babies can enjoy the outside weather. BTW, the babies are almost as large as the older chickens. Ironically, the Aarucana were pecked on when they were younger. I don't know how long I should wait, keeping them separated. They have been together for 3 days. Any suggestions?

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