Introducing new egg laying chickens

Champagnechickens

In the Brooder
Dec 5, 2018
18
6
21
So we have a set of 4 hens that are 1 year old. Then we have a different set that just began to lay eggs about 3 weeks ago. So we transferred the younger ones into the bigger pen. Just having trouble with the older ones beginning to fight and pulling feathers. Suggestions??
 

feathermaid

Egg Obsessed
Feb 5, 2018
3,126
23,288
942
Northwest Oregon
My Coop
My Coop
Introducing 2 groups of full-size chickens can be tricky and you must make preparations first. You can't just throw them all in together... they will fight as you have discovered. The original birds are defending their resources and will try anything to make the new ones go away.

Peaceful integration starts with SEE BUT DONT' TOUCH. Both groups must be divided by some type of barrier (fence, gate, cage) so that they can't physically reach each other but can see each other within close proximity. Feed both groups right on each side of the barrier line so they get used to eating together. This will have to be done for a couple weeks. Then they can all be let into the same pen together, but also make sure to keep additional food and water stations on opposite sides this time, and perches so scared birds have a place to get away. The pecking order will still have to be established, but there shouldn't be actual injuries or feather pulling.

If integration isn't done slowly and properly, you will end up with injured birds and they'll possibly try hiding in the nest boxes -where they'll sleep and poop and you'll get poopy eggs too.

If you notice one bird is picking on a single other bird, this article could offer some guidance:
Chicken Bully/Chicken Victim
 

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