Introducing New Chickens

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by teamlauder, Dec 12, 2010.

  1. teamlauder

    teamlauder Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 12, 2010
    I have 5 Welsummers. They are suppose to be friendly, docile chickens, but they're not. I have one in particular that will peck my hand and fly at me. They are 20 weeks old. I just introduced 6 Welsummer/Amerucanas and they are all being picked on, one to the point she is bleeding pretty badly. I have the injured pullet in a separate cage inside of the coop so the other chickens are still around her, but they can't get at her. The coop and run are plenty big, so that's not the issue. Any ideas on how I can get the Welsummers to stop the pecking?
  2. Dixiedoodle

    Dixiedoodle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2007
    How old/large are the new girls.. Size means alot. IF they aren't close in size--I would take them out and wait until they are close.... Also, I would take the most aggressive one or two out for a few days and then reintroduce them... hang extra feeders, watering stations, Add something new to the coop..a few suet cake cages filled w/ greens/cabbage any thing to keep them business! Throw in a pumpkin w/ hole cut in it...

    Use blukote on the bloody spots --they will go after blood...
  3. midget_farms

    midget_farms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2008
    Dunlap Illinois
    All good advice. The way you introduce them is important. An established flock will not allow intruders - at least not w/o letting them know who rules the roost. The best way I've found is to sneak the new birds in after dark. Hens can't count & they don't notice if they wake up with more than they went to bed with.

    They will still establish the pecking order so some pecking & chasing will be expected no matter what you do.

    I had a similar issue with some polish hens - they can't see the other hens coming. In the end I had to remove the top hen in order to shake it up enough to get them accepted.

    The blood on your injured hen will drive the other hens nuts - keep her seperate until completely healed or they will kill her. Its just what they do.

    In the end - it should only take a week to ten days at the most for the new birds to be accepted.

    As for the hen flying at you - do not accept that at all. That hen thinks she is higher on the pecking order than you are. When she fly's at you grab her up & hold her upside down by the feet. It wont hurt her at all - but she will quickly get this picture she is not in charge. This also works with mean roosters (sometimes).
  4. teamlauder

    teamlauder Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 12, 2010
    Thank you so much for the great advice! I will try the blukote. She has stopped bleeding, but she still needs a little more time by herself. I always forget to hang the hens upside down when they get nasty with me. Thanks for the reminder! [​IMG] Please keep your fingers crossed for me. I'm glad to know this isn't unusual.
  5. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
  6. Ann n OKC

    Ann n OKC New Egg

    Oct 28, 2010
    When I first added new chickens to my flock, I was advised to keep the new ones seperate for about a week. My coop is actually in an area with 3 old dog runs. So the new ones and old ones could see each other though the fencing but not get to each other. I didn't have any problem when they were finally placed in the same area.
  7. KKatknap

    KKatknap Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 15, 2009
    Albany, OR
    Quote:This is exactly what I have done...with varying degrees of success. I haven't ever had to deal with bloodiness, so I am happy with the plan. It is a bit more work and trouble, and there is still a bit of angst involved (probably mostly on my part).
    First, I make sure they are @ 4 months old before I even try to integrate (your older ones were barely older than that, so that's adjustable...but you want them to be of similar size); then, I let them live within the coop, but fenced apart for at least a week or ten days; when I remove the separating fence, I do it at night and put the newbies on the perch.

    Again...there is still more picking on one another than I like, but there hasn't been blood, so I guess it's ok. [​IMG] Good luck!!

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