Introducing new chickens to old flock

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Chkngurl, Apr 20, 2016.

  1. Chkngurl

    Chkngurl New Egg

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    Apr 5, 2016
    Currently have 3 red sex link chickens 1 years old. I will be introducing my four new chickens(they are chicks now) in couple months to the flock. Any suggestions on doing so? Thank you.
     
  2. chix4chance

    chix4chance Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 27, 2016
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    I will be doing the same thing in a few weeks... my chicks are about 10 weeks old and they are in seperate coop than our older chickens. We started out with 4 buff hens and a buff rooster (they are all about 2 years old) and this year we decided to get many more chicks to have a big flock ... we got 11 black australorps, 12 americana/ easter eggers, 2 Columbian rock, a silver lace wynd., a production red, and a partridge rock (all hens and they are about 10 weeks old now)... we have built a huge coop (which is where the 10wk old chicks are now) with a huge run/lot attached to it.. from what we have been told we are just going to wait a couple more weeks and put our big chickens in with the smaller ones .. the bigger hens should eventually protect the smaller chickens... but it is possible they will fight a little at first to establish a pecking order..n but we are new to it to.. so it will be an experience. Good luck!! :yiipchick :welcome
     
  3. Chkngurl

    Chkngurl New Egg

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    Apr 5, 2016
    Thanks so much for reply. Good luck to you too! I'm curious to see what happens.
     
  4. chix4chance

    chix4chance Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 27, 2016
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    Well i will let you know how it goes without a and if I figure out an easier way to go about introducing them I will let you know what we come up with :) good luck to you too!!!
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC!

    Here's some notes I've taken on integration that I found to be very helpful.......
    ......take what applies or might help and ignore the rest.
    See if any of them, or the links provided at the bottom, might offer some tips that will assist you in your situation:

    Integration of new chickens into flock.


    Consider medical quarantine:
    BYC Medical Quarantine Article
    Poultry Biosecurity
    BYC 'medical quarantine' search

    It's about territory and resources(space/food/water). Existing birds will almost always attack new ones.
    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. 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 for the new birds to hide out of line of sight and/or up and away from any bully birds.

    In adjacent runs, spread scratch grains along the dividing mesh, best of mesh is just big enough for birds to stick their head thru, so they get used to eating together.

    Another option, if possible, is to put all birds in a new coop and run, this takes the territoriality issues away.

    For smaller chicks I used a large wire dog crate right in the coop for the smallers. I removed the crate door and put up a piece of wire fencing over the opening and bent up one corner just enough for the smallers to fit thru but the biggers could not. Feed and water inside the crate for the smallers. Make sure the smallers know how to get in and out of the crate opening before exposing them to the olders. this worked out great for me, by the time the crate was too small for the them to roost in there(about 3 weeks), they had pretty much integrated themselves to the olders. If you have too many smallers to fit in a crate you can partition off part of the coop with a wire wall and make the same openings for smallers escape.

    Best example ever of chick respite and doors by azygous
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1069595/introducing-chicks-to-adults#post_16276224


    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.
  6. Chkngurl

    Chkngurl New Egg

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    Apr 5, 2016
    Great feedback! Thank you.
     
  7. HennyPenny2

    HennyPenny2 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm having trouble getting my pullets to roost with my two older girls as one of them still bullies (but not to the point of really causing harm) my 4 pullets I got end of March. I had them in a cage in the run with the two older girls for 2 weeks and then have been in the run but partitioned off and then last weekend I have been allowing them to all be together including having them go into the coop I there own at night but they sleep huddled in a corner on the floor. I didn't have this trouble when I actually raised 6 chicks and intergrated them with 2 existing hens years ago so I'm not sure if they will eventually get up the nerve to roost on there own? Can anyone give me any advice or tell me if they will just do it on there own? Like I said they are still scared of the one who chases them, they are very intimidated by her.
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Put up another roost for them, if you can, slightly lower than the main roost.
    They may not make a place for themselves on the main roost until after they start laying.

    How old are the new birds? Some prefer to huddle on floor until older.
    It can take more than a few weeks for integration to be fully complete.
    Some newbies will stay a 'sub-flock' for a long, long time.
     
  9. HennyPenny2

    HennyPenny2 Chillin' With My Peeps


    I'm not exactly sure on the age of the new girls, I got them from Murray McMurray which said they can be anywhere from 15-22 weeks, my guess is they were closer to the 15 week age when I got them almost 4 weeks ago. I have three roosting bars at graduating heights and they roost on the top bar so they have a lower roost but they are too afraid of the one hen to get near her. I guess I might be able to make a temporary lower roost (my roosts are set up high as I have a waist high "litter box" and a cage below that). Or if you say that some prefer to huddle on the floor till they are older then I might just leave it be till they decide they are not going to be intimidated any longer. The other hen (they are all EE's including the two older ones) has never bothered them and gets along with them just fine, it's just the one hen that messes with them. I had hoped that it would have gone as smoothly as the last set of chicks I raised but unfortunately that's not the case this time. Hopefully she'll get tired of chasing them soon, or the others will stand up to her. Thanks for the help. [​IMG]
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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