Introducing New Chickens

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Kolijah, Jan 9, 2015.

  1. Kolijah

    Kolijah Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 29, 2014
    West Virginia
    Ok guys... question.

    Here's the deal. My friends had around 30 chickens. I went over and picked out four hens and a rooster and brought them over to my coop (no other chickens had previously been in the coop). We went over a week later exactly and grabbed two more chickens figuring since they already knew eachother everything would be fine.

    The five original chickens pecked at the two "new" ones and made them stay in a corner. We left them for the night and that morning the two 'new' chickens were chilling out on the top roost and all the other guys were on the bottom roost. I havent seen any more attacking or pecking.

    However, the two 'new' chickens have been in there for about 5 days now and I haven't seen them anywhere other than on that top roost. I work 10 hours a day five days a week with a 40 min commute... so I've only been able to check on the chickens around 6am and then after 6pm.

    When I feed the chickens (everyone is shut into the coop right now since it got -8 where I live for a few days in a row) only the first five chickens I had are getting down and eating. The other two just hop around on the roost and act like they want to come down but won't... I'll stand and watch for 30 min or so and have yet to see them eat. The first few days I was putting food up top with the two new chickens so they'd eat but then I stopped hoping it would make them go down and eat...

    Do I need to be worried? Or will they adjust in their own time? I haven't seen any of the other chickens act aggressively towards them since that first night and no one is injured or missing any feathers...

    Someone mentioned to me that I should put the two chickens in their cage on the floor of the coop so everyone can be around eachother during feeding time but the other chickens couldn't chase them off... that way everyone can get more used to eachother that way (even though all of these chickens were JUST fine together when they were in the other coop)... Is that something I should do? Or do you think they'll figure out the pecking order on their own?
     
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    Yes, you need to worry, especially with this bitter cold. If those new chickens don't get the nutrition they need, they won't be able to maintain body temp and stamina. You need to set up a feeding station where they can eat and drink without being harassed by the first 5 gals. While they should "know" each other, the pecking order doesn't work that way. By removing them from their flock, they had to establish a NEW pecking order, and when you add the new girls, they have to fight their way into the pecking order. 5 against 2 is not a fair fight, and even though the new girls haven't been injured, it doesn't mean that they are not too intimidated to risk going to the feed bowl. Do you have a dog crate or other means of blocking the new girls away from the old girls?
     
  3. Kolijah

    Kolijah Out Of The Brooder

    39
    5
    34
    Dec 29, 2014
    West Virginia
    Ok thank you! I've been leaving a water dish on the top roost for them and I know they've been drinking it and I was feeding them up there until a few days ago. I have multiple metal crates in various sizes I could put them in.

    I'll put them in it when I get home from work tonight. How long do you think I should leave them in it before attempting to let them out again? And I'm guessing I should just put it on the bottom of the coop around where I feed the other chickens so everyone can try to work this out through the cage bars?
     
  4. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    Sounds like a good plan, but I'd not crate them on the floor until they've had a good roost feed and a chance to get those crops filled up. These girls are timid, and may not even eat at first if the others even look at them funny! Good luck.
     

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