Introducing new hens to the flock

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by frum, Apr 3, 2009.

  1. frum

    frum Hatching

    Apr 3, 2009
    Hi everybody. New member with my first post. We have a flock of 9 Black Australorps and just got this years chicks, a dozen Golden Buffs. How far along do the newbies have to be before I can introduce them to the Aussies, and can I just throw them (not literally, of course) together?

  2. joy

    joy Songster

    Aug 17, 2007
    Lancashire England
    I wouldn't risk it until they were roughly the same size,you can then introduce them gradually like putting the young birds in a cage so the older chickens can see them but not do any harm and then at night add the young chickens to the sleeping area so they wake up together in the morning. Keep your eyes on them and they should from my experience integrate quite well, with just the odd peck re pecking order.
  3. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    [​IMG] I agree with the other post. Here is my story on my experiences putting my pullets with my hens. First I let them all out in the yard together when the pullets were about 12 weeks old and the hens were about 1 1/2 yrs old. I put lots of scratch out for them. It didn't go to well. The hens chased and picked on the pullets terrible so I separated them. They had been in different coops and adjacent runs for over a month prior to the first time I tried to put them together. When I put them together the last time when the pullets were about 20 weeks, I had two hens that were terrible and jumping on the pullets and pulling their feathers out. I took the two most aggressive hens out and separated them from the rest. They were put into a separate pen for a week where all the rest of the chickens could walk around them see them but couldn't touch. When I did let them out, I put plenty of treats and scratch out hopefully to distract them. It worked for the most part, but for one of the hens. She was still very aggressive. When I saw her jump on one of the pullets I sprayed her with water from a hose that is next to the coop. She went running into the coop and didn't come out for awhile. I have repeated the hose caper a few times. She has calmed down since then. When the pullets were about 20 weeks old I switched coops and put the pullets in the hens house and the hens in the pullets coop and closed the runs so they couldn't interact but could still see each other. After another week went by I put them back together. It went fairly well. One of my goals was to try to get everyone to lay their eggs in the same coop and nest boxes. Now they all stay in the same coop. There was a little bickering in the beginning at roosting time but all is well now and they have worked out their pecking order. There are pictures on my BYC Page.

    Sorry this turned out to be so lengthy
  4. permacultureNOLA

    permacultureNOLA In the Brooder

    Apr 3, 2009
    New Orleans
    I agree with the previous post. The chickens will really beat up any new chickens added in so they need the time to get used to them
  5. magsrags

    magsrags Songster

    Aug 12, 2008
    Staten Island NY
    Quote:Not long at all, I needed this info too. [​IMG] Thanks for taking the time to type it out.

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