Integrating new hens. What to expect

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by eggmandoo, Nov 6, 2016.

  1. eggmandoo

    eggmandoo Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi. I have 3x 14 week old chicks. I have introduced 3 x 20-22 week old chicks today. I kept the separate but they could see each other. I allowed them to mix in my garden and it quickly became apparent that the older ones are asserting themselves. I appreciate there is a pecking order to sort but what should I expect to see during this. What should alarm me. I am concerned about them all being in the coop with no escape.
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Fighting, pecking, chasing are all part of the pecking order process. Generally as long as blood is not being drawn it's best to leave them alone. Make sure that the smaller chicks have access to feed and water and enough space to get away from the worst of the bullying.
     
  3. eggmandoo

    eggmandoo Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks. I've had to put them in the coop together. I've left the door open. There is one of the new ones who is having a go at all the young ones. It's beyond pecking. It's attaching with the beak. It concerns me as they are scared. Is this normal.
     
  4. Spartan22

    Spartan22 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How long have they'd been seeing each other? Thru separate pen? I normally put them together in the same run but w/ partition for weeks to a month before totally integrating them. To watch for: bleeding, excessive pecking on one or 2 bottom hens, little pecking here & there is normal, make sure no one gets cornered. Am not a fan of an overnight surprise integration- chickens are not that dumb, make sure plenty of room to hide/run away to. Plenty of water & food stations, so no one is being kept away to sustenance.
     
  5. eggmandoo

    eggmandoo Out Of The Brooder

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    A few hours. Then free ranging for a couple. I feel I've made a mistake. I've just checked the coop (it's night here) and the new bossy one is esting. The young ones are near by perching or in a nest box. The other two new ones are on the other side of the coop and look disinterested.
     
  6. Spartan22

    Spartan22 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This is what I did last spring before I fully integrated them into one run and one coop. I partitioned the coop & the run for 6 wks or so, even with that the young ones got pecked here in there I had to put a lot of perching bars in the run for them to get away and hide and it works great when I took the deviders.

    [​IMG]

    On the lower photo, I gave the 6 babies @10 wk olds 1/4 of the coop.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2016
  7. eggmandoo

    eggmandoo Out Of The Brooder

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    I only have one coop and pen. I'm keeping a close eye on the. The bossy one is guarding the main food now so I've put extra feed stations in the coop and outside.
     
  8. chickens really

    chickens really Chicken Obsessed

    Before you ever brought them home you should of been prepared for the introduction.....A good week in a look no touch pen is needed.....



    Cheers!
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Yes, mistake for sure, but you're not the first to make it.

    How big is your coop and run...in feet by feet(meters by meters)?
    You had them separated for a few hours, can they go in there again?

    You'll have to do some kind of separation and some chicken juggling to get them together...going to take time and effort.
     
  10. eggmandoo

    eggmandoo Out Of The Brooder

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    It's 15ft by 8ft. There are multiple feed and water stations. They seemed a lot more settled this evening. One of the new ones is perching with the original 3. And the main aggressor is perching with the other new one. There are no injuries.
    I accept I have been somewhat naive but I am left with the situation I have.
    It is possible to let either group out into the garden and keep the others in the pen/run but if I'm late home from work they will be out after dark and foxes concern me.
    I am grateful for all the info
     

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