Integrating new rooster and hens

Keekers

Chirping
May 14, 2021
12
82
56
My new rooster and 5 hens are 6 months old (Salmon Faverolles) and we put them with our other 6 hens. These 6 hens are rhode island reds and Wyandottes..( they are separated with chicken wire so they can see each other) omg the first day my rooster was pecking the the original flock through the wire and one of our Rhode island red pecked my rooster and got his comb 🤦‍♀️ He’s ok thank goodness ( I just love him)
how long do you think I should keep them separated with the wire. I have to take turns with them at the moment to free Range🙃 or I’m afraid there will be blood shed…
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Nov 27, 2012
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143,627
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SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
they are separated with chicken wire so they can see each other
Is this in a run or coop?


Here's some tips about.....
Integration Basics:
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.
Good ideas for hiding places:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/a-cluttered-run.1323792/
 

Keekers

Chirping
May 14, 2021
12
82
56
After you have had them this way for a while, flip them. Put them in the opposite sides that they are now. This lets the old birds see the new birds in their territory. It lets the new birds explore the new area without being chased or harassed.

Mrs K
So I let the older hens out to free range I open open the barrier and let the new hens and rooster explore the older hens area. Basically the new hens and the rooster have the whole coop to themselves for a few hours. Do you think that’s sufficient ?
 

Mrs. K

Free Ranging
12 Years
Nov 12, 2009
9,459
13,093
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western South Dakota
So I let the older hens out to free range I open open the barrier and let the new hens and rooster explore the older hens area. Basically the new hens and the rooster have the whole coop to themselves for a few hours. Do you think that’s sufficient ?
Yes, that is how I do it. I would not let the old birds in, until very close to dark. Then the urge to roost is nearly as strong as the urge to fight. I have had very good luck with this. If you are very worried about this, you might:
  • let the old birds out, new birds in coop/run
  • near dark, put new birds back into separation, let old birds in say 2-3 times (note, I never do this, but I don't worry about skirmishes either.
  • then the third night, leave them, letting the old ones in at near dark.
Last year, I got a single 8 week old chick into an established flock of 8, doing it this way. Which is probably the most difficult integrations to do. But note: I have a lot of hideouts, a lot of clutter in my run, and I always have multiple feed stations placed so that birds at one station, cannot see birds at another station.

Mrs K
 

Iluveggers

Crowing
Jun 27, 2021
1,589
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NYS
Salmon Favorelle’s are generally a very docile breed and RIR are generally more aggressive, so please be careful! When you do let them mingle the first few times after you have done the look/no touch and let them explore w/o the rest of the flock, please stay with them and observe. If there is any more dangerous aggression (more than warning pecks or an occasional feather pull), I would take them out and separate for a few more days. It might take a few weeks but better to be saw than sorry!
 

Keekers

Chirping
May 14, 2021
12
82
56
Well it seems like my Rooster has taken control! He finally has authority in the coop.
I’ve been letting Them all free range together and then last night I left them in the coop, but now my older hands are in the indoor part of the cube and my rooster and the other five hands are outside. The older hands are afraid of the rooster🤷‍♀️
I went down To the Coop early this morning and my older hands are all inside.
 

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