Introducing a new chicken into a flock

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Max0106, Sep 17, 2015.

  1. Max0106

    Max0106 New Egg

    Sep 17, 2015
    Kent, England

    I bought 3 pullets (5 weeks ago) and would like to introduce 1 more as I have room for 4. The 3 that I already have are 23 week and are just starting to lay, if I introduce a new one she would be 19 weeks. The breeder says it should be ok because they are still young but I am not sure about it as it would be 3vs1. Any advise would be great
  2. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

    Feb 18, 2011
    Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC! They are old enough you'll probably have to give them an introduction period ... seeing but no touching through wire seem to work best, ie dividing the coop into two sections or keeping the new/younger one in a cage inside the coup for a couple of weeks to a month at least. The chickens will get to know each other and sort of work out a pecking order before actually coming in contact with each other. Letting them free range together is a good idea and should help... It will take a couple of weeks to get the pecking order sorted out. There is a nice article in the Learning Center on integrating flocks you might like to check out, (the part about actually combining them is after the quarantine section, depending on where you get the new bird, you may also want to do a medical quarantine) and nice article on the see-but-no-touch into method
  3. Max0106

    Max0106 New Egg

    Sep 17, 2015
    Kent, England
    Thank you for the links, very helpful. I think i will leave it for a while as i don't have space to divide the coop (10ft by 4ft) [​IMG]. The only thing i could do is use a dog crate for the new girl but it would not be fair to leave her in there for a week. They free range for 2hrs a day through the week and most of the day sat and sun.
  4. N F C

    N F C eggnog time! Premium Member Project Manager

    Dec 12, 2013

    x2 on Kelsie2290's comments. I've used the "look but don't touch" way of integration and it really works. Maybe somewhere down the line you could expand your coop a bit to make more space and get a new chicken later. You were smart to be leery about just tossing them all together at once.

    Good luck to you with your flock and thanks for joining us.
  5. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Sitting in a crate for a week may not be fair - if chickens even think of such concepts. But, better in a crate than dead, if the others decide to attack. Pecking order has already been established for your older birds. Most times a new addition is NOT welcome. Bullying (keeping away from food & water), feather plucking to the point of bloody sores, and even cannibalism - because blood is very enticing to chickens.

    Or they may welcome her with open wings - who knows what goes on in a chicken's mind. Better to be safe than sorry.
  6. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

    Jun 15, 2012
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC! I'm glad you joined us! :)
  7. trailrider330

    trailrider330 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 4, 2013
    Midwest America
    Looks like you got some good advice already so I just wanted to say, "Welcome to the BYC flock! We are glad you joined us!"

  8. Max0106

    Max0106 New Egg

    Sep 17, 2015
    Kent, England
    Thanks for the tips. I have gone with the crate idea.I got the new girl yesterday lunch time (she is 20 weeks-the others are 28 weeks) and left her in the crate for the rest of the day, then last night put her in the roost with the rest of them. This morning I let the older ones out to free range and let the new have the whole coop to herself until this evening when they all went back in and she was back in the crate. When they go over to the crate they are really aggressive. Does anybody know how long I should leave her in there (are there any signs that she is ready to come out?) and also if there is any chance that in a flock of 4 she will always be bullied because she is the new girl?

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