Introducing new chickens

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by ashmbell, Jun 21, 2016.

  1. ashmbell

    ashmbell Just Hatched

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    Jun 11, 2016
    Hello! I would like some advice on introducing new chickens together... I currently have 1 Golden Sex Link and 1 Barred Rock which are about 8 weeks old. They are fully feathered and living in their coop. I also have 2 Easter Eggers which are about 6 weeks old which are in a secure pen during the day and kept in their brooder box at night (they are not fully feathered yet). I also have 2 Black Austrolorps which are about 1 week old and obviously live in their brooder inside full time.

    My question is, I would like to combine the EE's and the Golden SL and BR together. I have kept them in pens next to each other in hopes that they would be able to see each other on a regular basis. I sometimes let them in the coop together while being monitored however my BR seems to be a little aggressive towards them (pecking, jumping, running them into a corner)... The EE's are terrified it seems.

    Is there an easier way for introduction?

    Side story, about 2 nights ago I had a predator attack 2 of my chickens. I used to have 1 Dominique and 1 other BR that were the same age as the BR I still have and the Golden SL. All 4 of them were in their run however a large eagle or hawk was able to get to my pen. The other 2 I still have (the BR and Golden SL) survived the ordeal with very minor injuries (a small scrape on top of their beak, lower comb) which has already scabbed over.

    I am wondering, because they went through this traumatizing event and survived could this be why the BR is acting aggressive towards the EE's?

    Thanks for any advice given!!
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    It takes a long time for similar aged chickens to accept each other, so plan on side by side housing for a few weeks to a couple of months. I would continue to combine them when you can watch them. Eventually they should tolerate each other.
     
  3. ashmbell

    ashmbell Just Hatched

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    Jun 11, 2016
    Thank you! I figured it would take time.. the EE's are starting to get too big for their box inside and I obviously only have one coop... Would it be easier to put them together at night locked in their coop all together? (The EE's with the BR and Golden SL) Would the BR attack the EE's if I put them in together at night?

    I imagine the BR would be less aggressive since its dark when locked up in the coop and they can't see.

    Thanks!
     
  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    Putting chickens together at night does nothing to prevent aggression, it best to let them get used to each other through a fence.
     
  5. ashmbell

    ashmbell Just Hatched

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    Jun 11, 2016
    Ok. Thanks for clarifying that! Could it be that they are just trying to determine the pecking order? The BR doesn't touch the Golden SL which is the same age. I will keep them in a fence next to each other during the day and put them together when I can monitor.

    I hope all my girls can learn to live together! [​IMG]
     
  6. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    They all do eventually get along as long as there's enough room for everyone.
     
  7. DurangoChickens

    DurangoChickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Last week, I lost 5 of my hens to a fox. My neighbor, who lives about 1/2 down the riad from me... His bantam hens have hatched about 20 chicks over the summer, and he has offered to give us the 4 that hatched the earliest and are the same age as my chickens and they have interacted with each other while free-ranging.

    I read on another read that you have to fully quarantine new chickens for around 30 days, with no contact to your preexisting flock. I was wondering if I would still have to do this?

    Do you think that our previous hens with have a harder time adjusting to the new ones because that are bantams? I also have a rooster, do you think this will make it more difficult to introduce them?
     
  8. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    Quarantine is always recommended, but that's up to you, I personally probably wouldn't, especially if they have already been in contact with each other. You have to decide what risks you are willing to take.

    I personally keep my bantam and large breeds separately, they free range in the same space and are often next to each other but the bantams can return to their own coop and not be harassed by larger breeds that are often rougher.

    If you really want those birds you will just have to see how it goes. You will probably have to confine them for a few months anyways or they will just return to your neighbors coop and flock while out free ranging.
     
  9. Chick Leah

    Chick Leah Just Hatched

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    Jul 16, 2016
    Hi I wonder if anyone can give me some advice. I have 5 girls in a coop with run, they are also let out to free range a wider area put the pen is to help against foxes. We have recently extended the run and put another coop I the second new section keeping a divide up for now. In there I have 3 pullets and 2 polish cockerals. So far so good. They've all been looking at each other regularly and today about 1 hour before dusk I let them all out to roam freely out of the run and spend time with access to each other.
    What an awful experience. My two cockerals who are fine with there 3 pullets attacked or gang mated one of my older girls. 18 months. She kept fighting them off but was getting weaker and weaker. I left them till I saw blood from her comb. I then broke it up which was a job in itself. Salty is a lovely hen and I hate what my boys have don't to her. They seem so placid for cockerals usually. I expected some restructuring but not this. Please help. I have found a home for one cockeral hoping this might be better but I'm worried I have evil cockerals .
    Thanks in advance
     
  10. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    My experience with polish roosters is that's all they ever do is mate and contribute nothing else. I would get rid of one and possibly both, but I don't care for them so I'm a bit biased. I would keep them separated from the hens until the roosters mature a bit longer, usually around a year of age before trying again, otherwise you could try one at a time to see how it goes.
     

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