1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!

introducing new flock to Speckled Sussex

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Mark & Nique, Oct 25, 2011.

  1. Mark & Nique

    Mark & Nique Chirping

    Jun 20, 2010
    South Carolina
    Howdy --

    We have a new backyard flock (four 1 month-old Red Stars) that will soon be sharing the coop with our Speckled Sussex, who is the lone hen from our first try (the BR died during the summer heat, then the EE turned into a nasty bully and got sent to the farm).

    So far we've let them see each other inside pens, but we've been wary of anything beyond.

    Does anyone have experience introducing birds to Speckled Sussex? I know that some breeds are less aggressive than others.

    Thanks for your help!
    - Mark

  2. NonnasBabies

    NonnasBabies Muddy Acre Farms Premium Member

    Sep 20, 2009
    On the Farm!
    SS are not an aggresive breed per se but every bird is different. Make sure the ones your adding are about the same size of your older bird, that way the younger ones can defend themselves if needed!! Good Luck!
  3. mrheinz77

    mrheinz77 New Beginnings Poultry

    May 22, 2011
    SE Wisconsin
    I add my new birds at night. I shut the lights off and the next morning they wake up and act like they have been together for ever (at least most of the time). Sometimes a new cockerel can be a different story.
  4. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    The first time I merged flocks was when I added three Light Brahma five-week old pullets to two three-year old BO and Ameraucana hens.

    I placed the three youngsters inside the coop early in the day and closed it off to the two older hens (after they had laid). At roosting time, I let the older girls in and, by that time, the chicks were on the perch, in the prime spot I might add. The two older hens hopped up onto the perch beside the three new ones, barely giving them any notice at all. There were never any issues, probably because the new ones out-numbered the older ones. I can't be sure, but BOs and Ameraucanas aren't aggressive breeds, similar to SSs.

    I've employed this strategy with many mergers, and only once encountered a real bully problem, interestingly one of the Light Brahmas turned into a bully with six new chicks, primarily at roosting time.

    Out in the run, I use a segregated "panic room", a safe area where the smaller ones can scoot through strategically placed pop holes to safety. The bigger chickens can't follow. I also provide these same smaller dimension portals in any fence where small fry can get cornered or trapped by the bigger chickens. It allows for earlier mergers and you don't need to wait until the size equalizes. I place the chicks' food and water inside the safe space until I see that they're old enough to able to compete at the other feeders.

    I currently have four SS pullets who are 12 weeks old and are getting almost too big now to squeeze through their many pop holes. But they are rarely picked on anymore, and have adjusted extremely well to the other twelve hens and two roosters, even though they're still not fully grown.
  5. Farm_Maven

    Farm_Maven Songster

    May 7, 2011
    I just today integrated 4 RIR pullets that just started laying, to my flock after a quarantine period. They are the same size as my other birds, although other birds are a bit older. A little chest bumping, a little wing flapping, a little chasing, and then all was quiet. I think a lot of it depends on flock dynamics.
  6. Mark & Nique

    Mark & Nique Chirping

    Jun 20, 2010
    South Carolina
    Thanks for the input, everybody!

    The idea of adding the new flock members at night is interesting -- and makes me smile imagining what it would be like to wake up to someone not my wife and be okay with it!
  7. carolinagirl58

    carolinagirl58 Songster

    Mar 30, 2011
    Lugoff, SC
    good thread! I have 3 speckled sussex hens that need to be added to the group soon and was wondering how I'd do it. I will try adding them at night and see how it goes.

  8. Mark & Nique

    Mark & Nique Chirping

    Jun 20, 2010
    South Carolina
    I'll be adding 4 Red Stars with the 1 SS. Hopefully, they won't gang up on her!
  9. UrbanFarmerGreg

    UrbanFarmerGreg Chirping

    Oct 11, 2011
    Mark & Nique :

    I'll be adding 4 Red Stars with the 1 SS. Hopefully, they won't gang up on her!

    I recently got rid of my rooster which left me with one pullet, I got 3 new hens all over 1 year old and am integrating them now... but because the new 'birds' are used to each other and I didn't want them to gang up on the one I already have... I am putting them in one at a time.... not sure how it will work in the end but so far the red star I put in is alright... just the 2 black stars to go...​
  10. Mark & Nique

    Mark & Nique Chirping

    Jun 20, 2010
    South Carolina

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by