Integrating new chicks to my flock

Ketty Ash

Jun 1, 2017
This week I introduced my 3 month old chicks to my rooster and four hens. Typically, my older chickens get along well, so I didn't anticipate any problems. I put the new chicks in a crate, and placed them near the run to get acquainted. Then, I waited until dark, and put the new chicks in the coop after dark. That was a week ago, and everyone is alive. However, my rooster has the new chicks on lockdown. They aren't allowed into the run. I feel badly because they're spending hot days in the coop. Is there anything I can try to help them?


May 30, 2016
Yes, I would keep the rooster separate for a little while and see if he becomes more accepting after a cooling off period. Said from no experience with this at all.... I am in the process of my first integration right now...


Crossing the Road
7 Years
Jun 23, 2013
The Big Island/Hawaii
Have yet to experience "integration" , always start of fresh. Allowed max 6 hens in our area, I have 4 BO 12wks right now and would love to get some EEs but holding off not wanting to deal with integration.....I'm chicken


Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
7 Years
Nov 27, 2012
SW Michigan
My Coop
It's all about territory and resources(space/food/water).
Existing birds will almost always attack new ones to defend their resources.
Understanding chicken behaviors is essential to integrating new birds into your flock.

Confine new birds within sight but physically segregated from older/existing birds for several weeks, so they can see and get used to each other but not physically interact.

In adjacent runs, spread scratch grains along the dividing mesh, best if mesh is just big enough for birds to stick their head thru, so they get used to eating together.

The more space, the better. Birds will peck to establish dominance, the pecked bird needs space to get away. As long as there's no copious blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down and beaten unmercilessly, let them work it out. Every time you interfere or remove new birds, they'll have to start the pecking order thing all over again.

Multiple feed/water stations. Dominance issues are most often carried out over sustenance, more stations lessens the frequency of that issue.

Places for the new birds to hide 'out of line of sight'(but not a dead end trap) and/or up and away from any bully birds. Roosts, pallets or boards leaned up against walls or up on concrete blocks, old chairs tables, branches, logs, stumps out in the run can really help. Lots of diversion and places to 'hide' instead of bare wide open run.

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