Introducing new birds

bobby2170

In the Brooder
May 16, 2016
80
3
48
Pittsburgh, PA
Hi everyone! Today I have introduced my new 8 chickens (11 wks old) to my 4 1 yr old hens. We first let the young ones out in the yard to free range from their temporary run, then we let the big girls out too. 3 of my older hens have gave a couple pecks to the little ones but for the most part the two groups are completely ignoring each other. One is one one side of my yard and the others are at the opposite end. is this normal?
 

KoopOnTruckin

Songster
Jun 17, 2016
377
151
126
East Orlando, FL
Yep, completely normal. The younger chicks aren't even on the hens' radar because they aren't laying yet. Once they start laying, the 2 flocks will incorporate, but don't be surprised if they're always in 2 separate clicks.

It's good that you have more young ones, they will outnumber the older ones and there won't be as much domination needed in the new pecking order. (Or so the theory goes, there're always exceptions!)
 

bobby2170

In the Brooder
May 16, 2016
80
3
48
Pittsburgh, PA
Basically what seems to happen is they both go on their separate ways and when they get near each other one of my older hens who is an isa brown goes after then a little. There hasn't been anything too bad but she did get ahold of my buff orpington cockerel pretty good (probably because he went back at her). The other 3 hens have calmed down completely. Are isa browns more aggressive? Or could it be that she is just at the top of the current pecking order and wants to stay there
 

KoopOnTruckin

Songster
Jun 17, 2016
377
151
126
East Orlando, FL
Could be anything, could be that she's in the middle of the pecking order of her current flock and sees an opportunity to rise up in rank. Could be a ton of things, I wouldn't worry about it too much unless it gets bad. But if it does, separate the littles again for a while.
 

bobby2170

In the Brooder
May 16, 2016
80
3
48
Pittsburgh, PA
Hi, we have some new developements. The isa brown is really going after the young chickens. As soon as she is near the young ones crowd together away from her and cry. Should I put them in the gen house with the older girls or let them go to the temporary coop?
 

Crazy for Chickens!

Free Ranging
Jun 9, 2017
8,235
10,773
582
NW Missouri
One thing to remember for the future is, it's always smart to put new chickens in at night. How old are the you ger ones? If they are full grown,they will just have to reestablish the pecking order.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
96,562
130,232
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
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.

Read up on integration..... BYC advanced search>titles only>integration
This is good place to start reading, tho some info is outdated IMO:
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/adding-to-your-flock
 

portlando

In the Brooder
Mar 31, 2015
10
1
27
I've been trying to introduce two younger hens (about 2.5 months old) to my existing flock. The existing flock consists of two 2.5 year old hens. For about three weeks they've been sharing a run separated in two. They can see each other all day. At night I stick the younger ones in the coup and they sleep in one of the nest boxes, which is caged in with hardware cloth. Of the older ones, only one is aggressive, the other doesn't care much. I've also tried supervised free-ranging but they seem to just stay away from each other. HELP PLEASE. What can I do?
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom