Introducing and expanding my Flock

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Co1353, Aug 18, 2014.

  1. Co1353

    Co1353 New Egg

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    I have 4 Rhode Island Red hens at 8 months old. They are now laying and quite happy. I obtained 4 more chicks (hens) that are now 18 weeks and outgrowing their pen. At 16 weeks, I tried to introduce them to the existing flock, but the older hens just beat the crap out of them. I removed the youngsters for their safety. At what age should I integrate them into the existing flock? How can I prevent harm to the newer hens?
     
  2. BayBay Peepers

    BayBay Peepers Overrun With Chickens

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    Welcome to BYC!

    You'll want to give them more time. For a few weeks keep the two groups separate. Let them see eachother, but not touch. You can then try placing the new hens with the original at night. It's going to take some time to figure out a pecking order from there. If it doesn't work try again. Unfortunately this is just how chickens are. They need lots of time to adjust.
     
  3. Co1353

    Co1353 New Egg

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    Thanks Bay Bay!
     
  4. BayBay Peepers

    BayBay Peepers Overrun With Chickens

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    No problem. Hopefully over time they'll adjust smoothly for you.
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Here's some more tips for integration:

    Integration of new chickens to flock.

    Consider medical quarantine.

    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. Integrating new birds of equal size works best.

    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 blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down, 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 to hide out of line of sight and/or up and away from bully birds.


    Read up on integration..... BYC advanced search>titles only>integration
    This is good place to start reading:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/adding-to-your-flock
     

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