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Introducing new hens to our flock.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by katiek, Dec 3, 2008.

  1. katiek

    katiek Songster

    Nov 4, 2008
    Wildwood, GA
    We have 4 RIR hens and 1 RIR rooster.

    We are introducing 2 new hens to the flock today [​IMG].

    The new hens are older and laying, and we are getting them so that they will help our current hens figure things out as they grow up [​IMG]

    Any tricks or advice on introducing new hens? Just let them figure out the pecking order? Or do we need to do anything to make the transition easy for the existing flock and the new birds?

  2. scooter147

    scooter147 Songster

    Jul 30, 2008
    Here is what I always do. Place the new hens on the roost in the dark and I always do this on the weekend when I will be around the entire day. When they all wake up they don't seem to realize that new chickens are there.
    This works well for me, that being said, I still do have small squirmishes between the new and old hens but not like introducing them during the day. Just monitor their activity for a while, they will sort the pecking order out.
    Introducing a new rooster to a flock with established roosters can be a whole other story.
  3. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member 11 Years

    If you just got them, do not put them with your others for 4-5 weeks for quarantine. Too much heartache comes from adding new birds, who may appear healthy, but are carriers of some disease. Even quarantine doesn't guarantee you'll know they are completely healthy, but it's the least you can do to protect your flock.
  4. katiek

    katiek Songster

    Nov 4, 2008
    Wildwood, GA
    Thanks for your help!!! Much appreciated!

    You guys are helping educate me![​IMG]
  5. Chicken Boo

    Chicken Boo Songster

    Jul 16, 2008
    Glenn Dale, MD
    What worked for me, after the 4 weeks isolation, was to pen the new girls in the area where the established girls were free ranging. I did this Friday afternoon and Saturday morning. The did their posturing and made a few thrusts at each other without hurting each other. After a couple of hours on Saturday, I let the new girls out to free range with the flock. At dusk, they tried to go back to the garage, where their temporary pen was. We picked them up and put them in the coop/run and they finally followed the others into the henhouse. We did not need to show them where to go the next day.
  6. m00res

    m00res Songster

    Oct 25, 2008
    San Diego
    We also introduced new girls at night. We had virtually no issues. Some stare downs and a couple simple pecks in the morning and the drama was over. The duck seemed more irritated by the new ones than any of the other chickens. Of course, my duck is in love with my rooster so she could have viewed them as competition. [​IMG]

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