Integrating new chickens

Pcuda

Chirping
Sep 7, 2021
48
52
61
Hi! I have 3 new chickens that I’ve been trying to introduce to a group of 12 that have been together since birth - right now I separated an area in the run where they can see and smell each other all day but not touch - recently I have started letting them all free range but the 3 new ones get chased around and stomped on or pecked at - they have been in the same run but separated for about 2 or more weeks now - how long is this going to take? And when will I know it’s safe to leave them all together and they have been officially integrated!? Thanks!
 

Sally PB

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
Aug 7, 2020
9,302
41,877
983
Belding, MI
Yeah, it can take a long time! One thing that might help, if you're not already doing it... put scoops of feed along the bottom of the fence that separates them. Lots of feed, on both sides. This gets them used to eating together.

Don't be surprised if the low hen in your original group becomes "the meanie" to the new birds. She now has someone lower than she is in the pecking order, and that gives her someone to pick on. The new birds will learn to stay away from the older birds. Several food and water stations help, and they should be out of line of sight from each other, as much as possible.

Another thing that helps is to have lot of "clutter" in the run. A pallet leaning against the fence is a good thing for the littles to run behind; then they're out of sight of the adults. Something they can get up on, or under where they adults don't fit is good too. Be sure NOT to have any dead end places where the littles can get trapped.

Can you post pictures of your coop/run?
 

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