Introducing new chickens

Frizzlychick

Songster
Jun 3, 2018
50
102
106
I have three 18 week pullets, and two 9 week chicks I’ve had in the process of introductions for a week and a half now. They are getting along well enough in my enclosed garden with minimal pecking or chasing now. I’ve tried a couple times to put them into the run/coop together but the older ones corner and start pecking the crap out of the littles. I have tried putting them in close to night time when they are settling down but that doesn’t seem to make a difference.
Anyone have any suggestions for integrating the newbies? I don’t want them to get hurt. Maybe I’m being too much of a softy, but they FREAK out when the others go after them which makes them want to do it more.
 

cindagram

In the Brooder
Aug 11, 2018
22
35
49
I’m having the same issue so interested to hear what people have to say.
I have seven grown hens that have only been in a flock together for about four months. Three Rhode Island Reds, two leg bars, and two molted Java.
A month ago I purchased three more 13 week old chickens, to Leg bars and one Icelandic.
I have been keeping them separated with a dog crate inside the chicken run until last night when I put them in the coop so they could all wake up together.
In the morning the war broke out and my three younger ones became bait from every single demonic hen! They were getting pecked at constantly and trying everything they could to get away from them. I didn’t just want to leave them as they were not allowed to eat or drink so eventually I just put them back in the dog crate. What do I do now?
 

rosemarythyme

Free Ranging
Jul 3, 2016
5,971
11,006
642
Pac NW
My Coop
My Coop
Make sure you have plenty of obstacles for the younger birds to hide behind/under/on top of, and multiple feed and water stations, and as long as blood's not being drawn, let them sort it out.

This is the layout of my run right now, to illustrate. I have food at the feed station, water station and in the coop:
obstacles.jpg
 

Frizzlychick

Songster
Jun 3, 2018
50
102
106
I’m having the same issue so interested to hear what people have to say.
I have seven grown hens that have only been in a flock together for about four months. Three Rhode Island Reds, two leg bars, and two molted Java.
A month ago I purchased three more 13 week old chickens, to Leg bars and one Icelandic.
I have been keeping them separated with a dog crate inside the chicken run until last night when I put them in the coop so they could all wake up together.
In the morning the war broke out and my three younger ones became bait from every single demonic hen! They were getting pecked at constantly and trying everything they could to get away from them. I didn’t just want to leave them as they were not allowed to eat or drink so eventually I just put them back in the dog crate. What do I do now?
I’m glad I’m not the only one trying to figure this out lol
 

Frizzlychick

Songster
Jun 3, 2018
50
102
106
Make sure you have plenty of obstacles for the younger birds to hide behind/under/on top of, and multiple feed and water stations, and as long as blood's not being drawn, let them sort it out.

This is the layout of my run right now, to illustrate. I have food at the feed station, water station and in the coop:
View attachment 1534108
Mine unfortunately isn’t big enough to add obstacles, other than what the additional feeders and water provide. I wish I could have one like yours, that looks awesome!
 

Ridgerunner

Free Ranging
10 Years
Feb 2, 2009
24,164
12,241
707
Southeast Louisiana
The normal cause for that kind of behavior is that they don't have enough room. Usually the younger ones stay far enough way from the more mature and they get along. One of the ways chickens have learned to live together on a flock is that when there is conflict the weaker runs away and then avoids the stronger. If they don't have enough room to do that then it becomes dangerous.

Until they mature enough to force their way into the pecking order, immature chicks are always lower in the pecking order than more mature chickens. If they invade the personal space of the mature chickens they are likely to get pecked. It's called the pecking order for a reason. If the weaker doesn't have enough room to run away the mature see it as a challenge to their dominance and they can go nuts. You are right to be worried.

Rosemary gave some common suggestions to increase the quality of what room you have. If you don't have enough room to do some of that you just don't have enough room period.

I see three basic options. House the younger separately until they mature. With pullets that's usually a couple of weeks after they start laying eggs. You can increase the size of your facilities. Or you can get rid of some chickens.

There are exceptions, there always are with living animals, but for the most part if you are having a behavior problem the first question I'll ask is how much room do they have.
 

rosemarythyme

Free Ranging
Jul 3, 2016
5,971
11,006
642
Pac NW
My Coop
My Coop
Mine unfortunately isn’t big enough to add obstacles, other than what the additional feeders and water provide. I wish I could have one like yours, that looks awesome!
How large is your run? A big part of integration is space, as the bullied birds need room to get away from the bullies in order to get them to stop their chase. That distance can be shortened dramatically by adding barriers to break line of sight. If you don't have space to add large objects, try taller ones, like pallets or some plywood leaned against a fence.
 

cindagram

In the Brooder
Aug 11, 2018
22
35
49
My run is 10 x 20 and it has a separate feeding station from the bathhouse as well as a little tree branch play area. The younger birds found a way to hide but they were so crammed in a corner and all of the other ones were trapping them in there and would not let them get out. So there was not a way to eat or drink for them.
I did not see blood but feathers were being pulled out. I was just mostly concerned that they would never get to eat or drink. Is this true?
 
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