Introducing new chickens to the flock

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by swuthrich, Sep 19, 2014.

  1. swuthrich

    swuthrich Out Of The Brooder

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    Our 4 new chickens are finally at age to go out and hang with the 3 older ladies! My husband and I blocked off an area with wire fencing so they can see each other but not get to one another... Only question is, what do we do with the young girls at night? Bring them in? Put them in the coop and then back out at Sunrise? or let them sleep in their fenced off area?

    Any help is appreciated!! Thank you :)
     
  2. appps

    appps Overrun With Chickens

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    I put ours back where they had been previously for a couple of weeks at night. If I put them in with the big ones they would have been able to attack them when they woke first thing in the morning before I had time to separate them again. If I left them out they could have been eaten.

    In the end my existing three were more bothered by the new four we added than the other way round lol
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2014
  3. hollys chooks

    hollys chooks Chillin' With My Peeps

    How old are the new girls? If they aren't too young you might get away with putting them all together as there are more young ones than older ones. There will be some fighting no matter what, that's why it is called a pecking order, but if there is no blood, no one is getting constantly harassed, and everyone gets to eat and drink (you might need to have more than one feeder and water) then they will sort themselves out.
     
  4. swuthrich

    swuthrich Out Of The Brooder

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    The little ones are about 9 weeks and the big girls are 18. Just started laying yay!
     
  5. hollys chooks

    hollys chooks Chillin' With My Peeps

    9 weeks is still a bit young, they need to be pretty much the same size as each other.
     
  6. hollys chooks

    hollys chooks Chillin' With My Peeps

    I would even put them in the coop overnight yet. Bring them in somewhere safe overnight is probably best for a while still.
     
  7. swuthrich

    swuthrich Out Of The Brooder

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    Oh okay. They we're getting way too big for their brooder/ their poor heads were hitting the top of the cover. How long would you bring them in for? And then after bringing them in for a while- do we just let them out and do their thing with the big girls??
     
  8. hollys chooks

    hollys chooks Chillin' With My Peeps

    The youngest I've put out with the big girls were about 13 weeks, they got bullied a bit but no major injuries. You might get away with a bit younger as your older girls aren't that old. Put them together on a day you are around to rescue if it gets too nasty but let them sort themselves out if possible.
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Integration can be tricky no matter the age, it's about territory and hierarchy...there will always be a pecking order no matter how long they've been together.
    It's best to keep them separated by wire in both coop and run until they are of similar size just so the youngers are physically on a more equal footing.

    Partitioning part of the coop off worked best for me. Some folks have 2 coops and split the run in half with wire.
    The sizing step between brooder and coop is often overlooked..... until the chicks hit their heads on the brooder top, lol.
    There are many possible solutions depending on your situation, resources and creativity.


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

    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
     
  10. swuthrich

    swuthrich Out Of The Brooder

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    This is great!! Thank you! When you partitioned off the coop, did you put them in at night and let them out in the morning?? I tried to upload a picture of the coop/run but of course, It won't working!
     

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