Introducing new chickens to an existing flock

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Pandanut, Aug 20, 2014.

  1. Pandanut

    Pandanut New Egg

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    Aug 20, 2014
    Hi, I am new to the group and have had backyard flock of 7 chickens for about a year and a half. My husband and I decided we wanted to add some color to our flock (all 7 are red). We got 7 Americanas (chicks) back in March. They had been in their own Chicken coop until 1 1/2 weeks ago. We sectioned off a part of our large coop and kept the younger chickens in it for the "see but don't touch" for 2 weeks. When we let the younger chickens out the older chickens turned into piranhas! The younger chickens screamed and tried to run away from them but the old girls were ruthless. The younger chickens can "fly" a little higher than the old ones so they flew on top of the "sectioned off" part of the chicken coop. They have stayed up there for almost 2 weeks. When I came out to give fresh food and water this morning, the 4 of the old girls had the largest young girl cornered and she was bloody. I got the 4 away from her and she is missing feathers and a patch of skin the size of a quarter from the back of her head. I put all the young chickens back in the sectioned off part of the coop. I don't know what to do now so I joined this group for some advise. Thanks in advance.

    Sincerely, Pandanut
     
  2. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

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    Hello there and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    You need to introduce new birds slowly to a flock, especially young birds. There is a pecking order in every flock and you can't just throw new birds into an exsisting flock without lots of chaos. Keep these young birds in a cage or fenced off area but within the flock at all times. Everybody sees, nobody touches. Leave these young birds like this for about 3+ weeks. After this time, they have all seen one another from behind wire and the aggression should be much less.

    You can then mix them together. You will need to add more feeding and watering stations as the older flock can guard these areas starving the new birds out. You may also need to add a roost bar for the new birds as well. I like to go up at roosting time and help the new birds find a spot on the bar for a while so they know where they can get on without fighting with the existing flock. And always intervene if it turns bloody.

    Here is a nice article from our learning center on mixing new birds into a flock...https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/adding-to-your-flock

    Good luck with your flock and welcome to ours!
     
  3. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    Welcome to BYC, Pandanut! Glad you decided to join our flock. You've received some good advice and a good link from TwoCrows. You might want to get some Blue Kote Wound Dressing for use on any wounds your chickens may get. Not only will it help heal their wounds and protect the injured area, the horrible taste will help prevent further pecking of the wounded area by other chickens. If you are not familiar with Blue Kote, you can see it at http://www.mcmurrayhatchery.com/blue_kote_wound_dressing.html. Please feel free to ask any other questions you may have. We are here to help in any way we can. What kind of chickens do you have?
     
  4. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC! You've gotten some good advice/links above. You might consider putting pinless peepers on your older girls also when you try to combine flocks again, many of the red production birds can be rather aggressive.
     
  5. Pandanut

    Pandanut New Egg

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    What are pinless peepers? And I am still trying to figure out what my new chickens are. They were sold to me as Americaunas. I've been looking through the different breeds and the only ones I think I've figured out is the Black and White speckled one is maybe a "something" rock, but not the Dominique.
     
  6. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

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    Here is one of my hens with pinless peepers on. She was brutal as a young bird...
    [​IMG]
    She has aged several years and no longer needs them. But these will stop them from being aggressive. They can see up, down and to the sides. But not directly in front of them. So they can't aim and fire off the beak to bite, pluck feathers or act in an aggressive manner. They are left on for about one month and then removed. If the hen returns to her aggressive state at any time, they can be put back on for another month. You can get these on line at some poultry supply places....http://www.eggcartons.com/Pinless-Peepers-p/pinless-p-1.htm

    You can also post pics of your birds in our What Breed and Gender section for help with Breeds if you cannot figure out what you have...https://www.backyardchickens.com/f/15/what-breed-or-gender-is-this
     
  7. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    Your Ameraucanas are most likely Easter Eggers (a certainty if the seller misspelled them as Americaunas). Easter Eggers are hybrids produced by crossing true Ameraucanas (which lay only blue eggs) with other breeds to produce hens that typically outlay true Ameraucanas, and that lay eggs in different colors other than just blue (olive, green, beige, and even pale pink and gold). Hatcheries frequently market these Easter Eggers as either Araucanas or Ameraucanas (frequently misspelled as Americana or Americauana). There is a good article explaining the difference between Araucanas, Ameraucanas, and Easter Eggers at http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2011/09/ameraucana-easter-egger-or-araucana.html. Because Easter Eggers are hybrids and not a standard breed, the birds can come in a myriad of different colored patterns. Easter Eggers are my granddaughter's favorite chickens. She loves the different colored eggs that they lay. If your birds have greenish legs, they are definitely Easter Eggers. If not, they can still be Easter Eggers. If you want to post some pics of your birds, we can tell you for sure whether they are true Ameraucanas (very unlikely) or Easter Eggers.
     
  8. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC! Please make yourself at home and we are here to help.

    You've received good advice above.
     
  9. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    [​IMG] Glad you joined us!

    We're all here to help!
     
  10. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

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    Welcome to BYC! [​IMG]We're glad to have you.
     

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