integrating new chicks

graciegirl

Hatching
10 Years
Oct 8, 2009
3
0
7
I have 5 hens that were born last april(2010). They are 3 buff orphingtons and 2 rhode island reds. The rhode island reds don't seem to be the nicest chicks around. I bought 3 silver lace wyandottes in april. Soon they will be egg laying. They are presently on one side of my coop with a partition between the older 5 hens and the newer chicks. Anytime I try to let them mingle, the rhode island reds corner the silver lace wyandottes and I am afraid they will peck them quite severely. How do you suggest I integrate this grouping? Do you think they can be integrated
 

TwoCrows

A Native Raven
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Mar 21, 2011
42,389
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New Mexico, USA
My Coop
The best way to integrate new chickens is to keep both groups separate by a see thru fence of some sort so that each group and see each other. They will peck and pick at each other thru the fence, but nobody will get hurt that way. Leave them separate for several weeks to a month. But that time, they have hopefully gotten used to each to each other enough that when you let them all mingle, the aggression should work its self out quickly. Good luck!
 

Judy

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Feb 5, 2009
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South Georgia
Welcome!

As other said, give them about a month of seeing each other. Then, there will be some pecking when let out together. If no one draws blood, it's OK. You might have to separate if anyone has a bloody wound, or have some BluKote handy to mask the blood. Pecking order is not nice, but it is their way. Sometimes you get a chicken or two that is just too mean to be with others, too.
 

ChickenCanoe

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Nov 23, 2010
31,192
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St. Louis, MO
RIR are notorious for this behavior.
Free ranging disparate groups helps a lot, room to run away and something to keep the bullys occupied.
When you finally decide to integrate, do so at night by putting the new ones on the roost.
If some are still bullies, put the bullies in the time out pen - preferably out of sight from the others for about a week. Reintroduce a bully at a time, a few days later an other one, finally the meanest who will then be the new kid on the block.
They'll rapidly rise through the ranks but by then most problems will be over.
 

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