Introducing new hens...

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by DVTO2, Sep 24, 2011.

  1. DVTO2

    DVTO2 Songster

    Mar 10, 2010
    So after a year of very productive egg laying by my year old seven Golden Comets there's been a drop off. I used to get 6 to 7 eggs a day. Egg production had dropped to about 5 per day and then one of the hens died and now I am getting about four per day. Any thoughts on why egg production would be decreased?

    In any event, I need more eggs, and so bought a couple of 15 week old RI Reds and they had a very tough time with being introduced to the rest of the flock. The older hens would not let them eat and the pullets just hid in the nest boxes. I decided to throw them in a covered run I keep for some Muscovies, who didn't seem too happy at first with them either but now they seem to get along fine. I'd like to introduce them back into the chicken coop at some point - any suggestions?

  2. haemony

    haemony Songster

    Feb 21, 2011
    Do they get out to free range at all? That's the only way I know how to do it but it's worked well for me. I let them free range out in areas
    near each other with a temporary fence between them so they can get right up and check each other out. After a few weeks, I take down
    the fence and let them range together to see how everyone gets along. I give the newbies daytime access to the new house and run for
    a few days. Then I put them all in together at night and let them wake up together. They have to do their pecking order thing but it goes
    much easier that way. It did for me.

    Otherwise you can split the run in half with some netting or deer fencing and give them each their own food and water. Let them talk trash
    and such through the fence for awhile.
  3. DVTO2

    DVTO2 Songster

    Mar 10, 2010
    I just put my older hens out to free range for the first time, because I have hawks living on the property. They are good for bug control in the garden, though and had a great time, so I am going to pursue this a bit more.
  4. frizzleman74

    frizzleman74 Chirping

    Aug 10, 2010
    Fairfield County
    they may be beginning to molt, if im not mistaken thats around the time they get their 1st molt

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by