Integrating new hens into existing flock

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by ReluctantRural, Feb 7, 2016.

  1. ReluctantRural

    ReluctantRural Hatching

    Oct 18, 2015
    Prattville, AL
    Hi! I have two hens (about 4 months old raised from 1 day old) that I'm trying to integrate into our existing flock of 2 hens and a rooster. Once they got big enough and it wasn't too cold, we moved their brooder outside to the porch so that they could get used to being outside and the existing hens could be introduced to them.

    So, the last couple of weekends we've let them out to free range together. The first weekend they all did exactly what we thought they would. Our rooster showed out and they fought a little. Fast forward to last night and we had our littles in the big's coop. When it was time for bed, the bigs kicked the littles out and they were back on our porch and we had to put them back in the brooder.

    I've heard you can put them in at night so when they wake up in the morning they wake up one big happy family, but I'm afraid for my littles if the hatch isn't open on the coop in the morning, they may fight and get injured.

    Any ideas? Should I just relax about it?

    Reluctantly Rural.

  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Chicken tender Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    Just keep putting them together during the day and removing them at night until you feel comfortable about them being together. I'm assuming you have a smaller coop, which can make things harder. Chickens aren't stupid, they know when new birds have been added, whether during the day or night, it just depends on whether the existing ones are willing to cause trouble. In a few weeks your young ones will reach sexual maturity then the rooster will suddenly be interested in including them. Don't rush it.
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Do you have enough space in coop for new birds?

    I put up a separate roost for new birds, a little lower than main roost,
    so they don't sleep in nests when the olders throw them off the main roost.
    1 person likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by