introducing new hens to younger ones???

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by kaileen20, Dec 3, 2014.

  1. kaileen20

    kaileen20 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 14, 2014
    So, I currently have 6 12 week old plullets, and one 12 week old barred rock rooster. I got two adult Americana girls yesterday, should I separate them? They seem to do okay.. other than my rooster trying to show his dominance, I have two different coops for them, and the new girls will go in the coop and wait until the others are gone then come out and eat.. should I be concerned about this behavior? They also seem to hog the bigger coop, but I haven't seen any fighting.. yet.. just then one upping each other a little, need advice, thank you!!
     
  2. 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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