Introducing new hen to the coop

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by gottaknit, Jul 29, 2008.

  1. gottaknit

    gottaknit In the Brooder

    May 28, 2008
    I have 3 hens that I've raised together from day-old, a year and a half ago. I'm adopting a new hen that is the same age. How do I introduce them so they don't fight? Thanks!

    Btw, my hens are 2 buff Orpingtons and 1 Americana. The new hen is a RIR. Don't know if that matters...
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2008
  2. Jolyn

    Jolyn Songster

    Apr 5, 2008
    Northern California
    I just introduced mine to another younger chick. I kept her in a little tub right inside the coop. It had a cover on it with chicken wire so she had plenty of air flow. Then during the day i put her out in the run in a wire dog crate. That way the other chickens could see her and get to know her but couldn't get to her. I did this for about a week. Then i started letting her out in the run only with me out there. Then i let her stay out all day and then finally i let her go right into the coop with them. They accepted her nicely. I went in one night and they were all roosting and seemed to be moving over slowly so she would have space on the roost too. Very cute.

    It takes time.
  3. Nuggetsowner:)

    Nuggetsowner:) Songster

    Aug 2, 2007
    Jolyn - you and I did this in very similar ways! I put a portable dog crate -one that is welded wire sided so completely see through - next to the run during the day only for about a week. Then I moved it inside the run for day only for a while. After that time I put her to roost with the rest one night. They all woke up the next morning and acted like nothing was different. There was a little disturbance when pecking order was established. That is normal and will happen everytime you introduce a new chicken.

    One thing I did want to add is that if you have a new chicken you should keep it separate from your flock for awhile untill you know that it is healthy. I am not exactly sure on how many days. I can't remember off the top of my head but you could search on this site. I know it is here somewhere!!
  4. Charlene1234

    Charlene1234 In the Brooder

    May 11, 2008
    I just did this yesterday! First I tried just throwing her in - bad idea!!! They all fought and it was a mess. Then someone said to wait and see if I can just put her in to bed with them and when they wake up she'll be better with them. That worked! I held her until it was bedtime and they couldn't see too well. Stuck her on a roost and today when they woke up, they all were fine. She kept to herself all day while the others went to range all over the place but they all went in the coop tonight. I put her up on the roost next to the roo I want her to get better aquainted with. Not a problem at all tonight!! This worked well with another I did, but it was just a coincidence that I put it in with the others at night - that's when we got it. They've all gotten along great since the start.
  5. coffeemama

    coffeemama Barista Queen

    Mar 5, 2008
    Hey you! [​IMG] I would put her in some sort of cage where they can see her, then try the slip her in at night thing. I have a really sweet hen that I've been trying to introduce to my flock, but the girls are awful to her. Sometimes it's just difficult I guess!
  6. rugher

    rugher Hatching

    Apr 5, 2010
    I too am having the same problem. Trying to introduce a fourth hen in with three other hens that all came about the same time last year. Three are Ameraucana, one Cuckoo Maran, the one we are trying to introduce is another Ameraucana, but it is WHITE. The person we got it from was trying to save it from being bred by her geese. It is very docile and does not fight back at all. The other three have not accepted her at all. We have tried the night introduction, only to find her playing dead to escape the torture the next morning. We have tried turning them loose, they still chase her some, but mostly leave her alone. When it comes time for the coop again, they corner her and attack her. The gang up and won't let her eat or drink. We built a bigger run, but that doesn't seem to help either. She is a great layer, and we would love to keep her, but is it worth it, will they ever get along? I just can't face finding a dead chicken? Anyone have any more ideas?
  7. LadyIslay

    LadyIslay In the Brooder

    I realise I'm resurrecting an old thread, but my question is related....

    I added six more hens to the flock on Thursday. I just let them loose with the rest of the flock, and they all seem to be fine. My flock us free-range; though, and the other chickens want OUT of the hen house NOW. How long should I keep everyone locked up before I let them loose? How long does it take for the new chickens to imprint that this hen house is their new home (so they'll come back and roost there at night)?
  8. rugher

    rugher Hatching

    Apr 5, 2010
    I am happy to report that I stuck it out, it took quite awhile, but it did work and I had all 4 eating out of my hand today. We sent the new white hen away for about a week, she wasn't accepted there either, they ended up keeping her in a cage there also. But were able to bring her back to a larger, more improved coop, where we had to also keep her in a cage also. We let them out loose in the yard with supervision for as long as we could and then we got to the point where we left her cage in the coop, but open. She felt safe there, but could get out and go to the nesting box, walk around and still be able to retreat to "her" cage. Slowly but surely she gained weight and they worked out their pecking order. She is at the bottom, but now she "belongs." Don't know if this will help anyone else, my partner was ready to give up and send her back, but she is our best layer and I for one am glad we stuck it out.[​IMG]
  9. gwill23

    gwill23 Songster

    Mar 14, 2010
    Grangeville Idaho
    I had the best success by putting them in a wire dog cage for the day and then on the second day I just put them on the roost and night and that was it. I actually had 3 hens and a new rooster I introduced this way. I simply put them in the cage until it was late at night and then I put them on the roost. There was a little fighting the next morning but that was over by the time I got out there to let them out.
    mearpond likes this.
  10. Cruizer1

    Cruizer1 In the Brooder

    Oct 13, 2009
    Grand Rapids
    Thank you for resurecting an old thread.

    I have 6 Isa's Hens (9 months old) and am introducing 3 Isa Hens and 1 Bantam Hen (2 months old) I have the cage in the run and dog carrier in the hen house for night time. I let them out now and then and they do ok...there is some hen pecking but nothing major. My problem is the old ladies won't let the young ladies eat. I have 2 food and 2 water containters and every time one of the youngsters tries to get either, one of the old ladies chases them away.

    They have been living together but separated for a week now and I want to let the youngsters have more freedom but they need to eat...

    Any suggestions???


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