INTRODUCING NEW HENS AND PULLETSTO 1 YEAR OLDS IN THE COOPS

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Catfsm, May 20, 2012.

  1. Catfsm

    Catfsm Songster

    78
    19
    112
    Sep 28, 2011
    West Lnn, Oregon
    I have two coops. One has a tall Plymouth Rock Rooster and 4 little Rhode Islanders. The second has a Bantum Roo part Easter Egger and 6 hens: 1 big Rhode Islander, 1 Buff Orphington, 1 Aracana, 1 Plymouth Rock and 2 Black Sex Links.

    Everyone gets along nicely. During the day they all go out together in groups of 10 and 2 most of the time! The 2 roosters and 8 hens spend their days together.

    I got three pullets: Two are another sort of Sex Link and one is a Buff Orphington. They are 12 weeks and 14 weeks old. They do great together.

    I have been keeping the little ones separate from the bigger ones for fear of fights or harm. However, it is not so safe in the tiny cage as it is in the coop and it is not so comfortable for the little ones.

    How should I go about introducing them.

    The little ones have not been free ranging either because of concern of harm being outside and not being as easy to get back in. The big hens and the roosters see them out inside a ring of chicken wire with a piece of wood on top and they hang out with them.

    Today someone brought me her one darling hen. She is a 2 year old Buff Orphington. She is very healthy and beautiful! I did not put her in with the little one or the two coops. I just do not want anyone to hurt her. She is all that person had left after a dog came through and killed her other two. I promised to love her, and I will have the former owner come visit her darling any time!

    The two coops we have are large enough to just accomodate these 4 new hens. We plan to build a single bigger coop probably at the start of June because, to tell the truth, I have fallen in love with my chickens, and I want more! . We had planned on only 3 hens, but now we have 14 hens and the 2 roos. I have been offered 3 more - 3 year old Leghorns. We will get them as soon as we have a space for them.

    Now, it is time for every hen to be in a coops we have so they are safe.

    We tried putting the bigger pullet in with the second coop, and she was attacked and scared and hid. So, I took her out.

    How does on get them together? I want everyone to be happy and safe together.
     
  2. Fierlin1182

    Fierlin1182 powered-flight

    17,155
    299
    348
    Aug 26, 2011
    If the two groups have been out together and seen each other through the wire, you should be okay to put them together. What you describe with the older chickens attacking the younger pullet is pretty normal, the pecking order needs to be re established whenever any new birds are introduced. Hopefully the pecking should settle down within a short while. (Maybe a few days? With us it was longer, however I have heard about very smooth integrations)
    Just make sure that the pullets have access to water and food, preferably away from the main feeding area so they don't get chased away and go hungry.

    As long as no blood is being drawn, it's normal to get pecking especially at first. :)
     
  3. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Free Ranging

    40,347
    3,228
    596
    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    The biggest key to integration is space. The new ones need space to get away from the established hens. It sounds like you are cramped on space, so this will make things more difficult. The free ranging will help during the day.

    Since the two have been in sight of the others for a while, you can put them together. It's best to put them in at night. There will be pecking, chasing, bullying, etc as they establish their new order. Unless there is blood, it's best to let them work it out. They will probably stick to themselves when free ranging during the day. Don't worry, they will eventually become part of the flock. My roosters help the integration by not allowing the hens to fight each other. Hopefully yours will do the same.

    Integrating gets easier over time. There is always (at least in my coops) "that hen" that just wants to prove her place and is more difficult on the new flock members.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: