Introducing new chicks to existing flock...?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by samemerson17, Mar 27, 2017.

  1. samemerson17

    samemerson17 Just Hatched

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    Hello! I have 2 chickens who are fully feathered and ready to go outside. I am just not sure how to introduce them to my existing flock who are about a year old. Any tips/help would be lovely!! Thank you!
     
  2. MadieWestbrook

    MadieWestbrook Out Of The Brooder

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    Personally, I would be sure you put the chickens in there with the others AT NIGHT. This gives them a chance to roost together. However, be sure you give them space. Some suggest you keep the other chickens just within eyesight of each other for a few days before combining the flocks. Also, keep in mind that a pecking order will need to be established.

    From experience, I got 3 free-range hens and introduced them to a hen and rooster I had. Within a few weeks, my original hen has almost been killed. However, this was with mixing free-range and practically domestic chickens, so I'm sure you won't have this issue.
     
  3. Keelly367

    Keelly367 New Egg

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    I'm having the same issue. I got two new suuuper *sweet little chicks 3 days ago and because they are to young to go outside to meet the others (we have 5 older hens) I decided to bring our nicest hen inside to see what she would do. Total mistake. She immediately pecked at one but I pulled it away fast enough. If your hens aren't broody I would say keep them away until your little ones are big enough to defend themselfs, but still introduce them slowly. If your hens are broody I would try putting them in with one to see how it goes. DO NOT LEAVE THEM ALONE UNTIL YOU SEE HER ACCEPT THEM! This can be extremely dangerous because if they are not excepted, they will be killed. Some fighting may occur for dominance in the beginning, but if you take it slow it will probably be okay. Good luck :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2017
  4. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

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    It would help to know how old your chicks are. If they are still small, under six weeks, you can use the panic room method of integration. That involves a safe pen with small chick size openings the large chickens can't fit through. Food and water is placed in this panic room so they aren't driven away from these essentials by the adult chickens.

    After a week in the safe pen, during the day in the run, you can open the small openings off the panic room and let the chicks mingle. After they successfully integrate over the following week, you can then move them into the coop to sleep, but you must be prepared to teach the chicks how to go into the coop at night. They don't automatically know how to do that and folks are puzzled why they remain out in the run after dark.

    If the chicks are the same size as the adult chickens, it's harder to introduce them since they will be perceived as threats. You need to treat them as you would introducing strange adult chickens, a segregated pen for a few days until everyone is acquainted.
     
  5. lutherpug

    lutherpug Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've just completed my first integration and here is the advice I'd give you-

    If you have lots of room in your coop and run your integration will likely be easier. The little ones *need* places to escape and hide from the big girls, without getting trapped. I was pushing my coop and run to what I would consider max capacity (5sq ft per chicken in the coop, 10 sq ft per chicken in the run) with the addition of the new ones and it definitely made things more difficult. Don't just put your chicks in the coop-either in the daytime or at night. They need a slow introduction process. See above advice about allowing them to all get acquainted visually before they can physically interact. Add additional feeders and waterers. If you can create additional vertical spaces for the chicks to escape that helps a ton. I built a small table out of scrap wood and it was a life saver.

    Integration was much more difficult than I anticipated and it took much longer than I imagined. This isn't meant to be discouraging, at all. My chicks and I all survived it but we're all a little wiser too.

    Best of luck to you with your new chicks!
     
  6. samemerson17

    samemerson17 Just Hatched

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    Thank you everyone! The chickens that are living outside already are almost a year old. One of the new chicks is 7 weeks, the other is 2 months. For the past few days i have been bringing the new chicks out side near the older ones. For the most part, the older chickens just ignore/run away from them. Today they were all outside and i put some meal worms on the ground for them. The 7 week old chick 'ran away' while the rest, including the 2 month old chick, stayed and pecked at the meal worms. Everything was fine. Each of the older chickens pecked the younger one once and then stopped. Will they continue to peck her? She is almost as big as them, but the only time she kinda tried to stick up for herself was when Tessa, who im pretty sure is at the top of the pecking order, pecked her. Also, the 2 new chicks also are not bonded very well which concerns me. Will they bond with each other/the older chickens? (we had another 7 week old chick who turned out to be a cockerel so we exchanged him for the 2 month old chicken.) Thanks for the help! [​IMG]
     
  7. Keelly367

    Keelly367 New Egg

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    I think the bonding thing is just a matter of their personalities. Each chicken has different likes and dislikes. They may bond, they may not, but as long as they don't completely hate eachother I think they will be okay
     

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