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Introducing new chickens to my flock.

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by eggselant, Sep 5, 2014.

  1. eggselant

    eggselant Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 13, 2014
    I currently have 7 full grown hens that all get along well and have been laying eggs for a few months. About 2 months ago I got 4 chicks that are now about 3 or 4 months old. I have been raising them inside a pen I built for them inside my garage. Just recently I have been putting the young birds inside a extra large dog cage and placing th cage inside my hens run first thing in the morning before the hens get up. This way the hens can see the young ones but cannot physically interact with them. At night when the hens start heading for the coop to roost I transport the cage with young chickens back into the garage so they can go to sleep.
    My question is when should I lose the dog cage and let them all live together? Out of the 4 young chickens, I think one is a rooster because he/she is about 3/4 of the size of my full grown hens. The other 3 young chickens are about 1/2 the size of my full grown hens. I know they might get picked on when I let them out of the cage even though the hens dont seem to mind that they are inside their run during the day, but I dont want to risk having any of the new chickens get injured by the hens when I let them out.
    I have been introducing the young chickens to the hens now for a week. Should I wait or is it a good idea to let them out soon to see what happens?
     
  2. boskelli1571

    boskelli1571 Overrun With Chickens

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    Mar 7, 2011
    Finger Lakes, NY
    Hi there & welcome [​IMG] You have done everything right so far. Your next move is to put the newbies in with the older girls. When everyone has gone to roost, slip the new ones in with the others. There will be picking, plucking and some general unpleasantness, but try to endure. Interfere only if blood is drawn - they have to get used to the pecking order. As long as they have plenty of room to move around in during the day, things should go fairly well, good luck! [​IMG]
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Here's some notes I've kept on integration....maybe some of them, and the links provided, will help you figure out the best way for you to integrate.

    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
     
    1 person likes this.

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