introducing new hens to flock

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by crzycknmomma, Oct 19, 2014.

  1. crzycknmomma

    crzycknmomma Out Of The Brooder

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    I bought 7 new hens and added them to my coup yesterday. However my old hens are attacking them and won't let them near the food or water. They are all about the same size. Not sure what I need to do... Any help would be appreciated!
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2014
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Quite possibly, you will neeed to separate them, then introduce gradually -- especially if their attacks draw any blood. Adding new birds to a flock rarely goes smoothly, even with preparation. Here is an article with a lot of wisdom on the subject.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/adding-to-your-flock
    :
     
  3. iwiw60

    iwiw60 Overrun With Chickens

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    You should have definitely isolated those new hens from the rest of your flock! Why? Because you might introduce disease/illness to your existing girls..yikes!

    Your existing hens are doing what chickens do...they don't like newcomers and are letting them know that. You need to isolate your new ones immediately. Take some chicken wire and fashion a "separation" where they can see them and them can see they if you get my drift. Provide them their own water and feed...I would say for at the very least 2-3 weeks. In the meantime they can get used to each other without tearing each other apart.
     
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  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Here's some notes I've taken on integration that I found to be very helpful.
    See if any of them, or the links provided, might offer some tips that will assist you in your situation:


    Integration of new chickens to flock.


    Consider medical quarantine:
    BYC Medical Quarantine Article
    Poultry Biosecurity
    BYC 'medical quarantine' search

    Confine new birds within sight but physically segregated from older/existing birds for several weeks, so they can see and get used to each other but not physically interact. Integrating new birds of equal size works best.

    For smaller chicks I used a large wire dog crate right in the coop for the smallers. I removed the crate door and put up a piece of wire fencing over the opening and bent up one corner just enough for the smallers to fit thru but the biggers could not. Feed and water inside the crate for the smallers. Make sure the smallers know how to get in and out of the crate opening before exposing them to the olders. this worked out great for me, by the time the crate was too small for the them to roost in there(about 3 weeks), they had pretty much integrated themselves to the olders.

    If you have too many smallers to fit in a crate you can partition off part of the coop with a wire wall and make the same openings for smallers escape.


    The more space, the better. Birds will peck to establish dominance, the pecked bird needs space to get away. As long as there's no blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down, let them work it out. Every time you interfere or remove new birds, they'll have to start the pecking order thing all over again.

    Multiple feed/water stations. Dominance issues are most often carried out over sustenance, more stations lessens the frequency of that issue.

    Places for the new birds to hide out of line of sight and/or up and away from any bully birds.

    Read up on integration..... BYC advanced search>titles only>integration
    This is good place to start reading:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/adding-to-your-flock
     
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  5. crzycknmomma

    crzycknmomma Out Of The Brooder

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    I didn't realize I needed a second section. But I did take your advice and I partitioned the coop do each group has their own side with food and water. The hubby is going to build an addition on so they have a bigger section.
     
  6. MrsBrooke

    MrsBrooke Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We integrated some 3 month olds and some 6 months olds with great success in about a week.

    First, we locked the younger birds IN the coop, so that the bigger birds could still see them, but couldn't get access to them.

    The first night, we gathered all the little birds and, after the big birds were on the roost, took the little ones and added them to the roost pole.

    Then, in the morning, we once again locked the big birds OUT of the coop (each group had their own food and water) in their run/pasture all day.

    This way, the younger birds learn where home is and the bigger birds get used to sharing their space without being able to attack.

    After seven days of this routine, we opened the door and now all the birds have the option for free-ranging. It was really funny, because they all came out as one group... The Bigs were flocking with the Littles!

    Made my heart soar. <3

    [​IMG]

    On a side note, all the birds in my flock are Australorps. I don't know if they are all able to recognize that they are "birds of a feather," or if maybe the breed temperament had something to do with it - Lorps are naturally friendly, docile birds.

    We combined our flock on Friday, and we have had great success with it. :)

    Good luck!

    MrsB
     
  7. iwiw60

    iwiw60 Overrun With Chickens

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    I also have Black Australorp ladies...the absolute best breed for mild temperament, very docile and friendly, talk like crazy to you, and they lay the beautiful brown eggs...I wouldn't have any other breed...love them to death!! [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  8. MrsBrooke

    MrsBrooke Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I *do* love my Lorps, but you could ply me with some Barnevelders. ;)

    MrsB
     
  9. the43k

    the43k Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]
     

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