Introducing new hens

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by HSerChickLady, Feb 12, 2012.

  1. HSerChickLady

    HSerChickLady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 12, 2012
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    We're trying to decide how many chicks to get this year and might end up adding some of them to our current coop if they won't all fit in our new coop. How can i safely introduce 8-12 week old pullets to a coop that already has 7 Golden Comet hens, 1 Ameraucana hen, and 2 Ameraucana roosters in it? I'm mostly afraid the roosters will be too heavy climbing on top of them.
     
  2. HSerChickLady

    HSerChickLady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 12, 2012
    upstate NY
    The established coop will be 1 yr olds if that makes a difference.
     
  3. terryg

    terryg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The new pullets should be fully feathered out and at laying age before adding them to the established flock. This will go a long way to prevent bloodshed. Meanwhile, if possible, have them in runs separated by chicken wire so they can see each other. I have a FAQ about mixing flocks here: http://www.hencam.com/henblog/introducing-new-hens/ I don't have roosters, but I bet your current hens will be happy to share the boys and get a break :)
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    You are dealing with living animals so I can't say definitely that something will or will not happen. No matter what I say, somebody can come up with an exception. I've seen some pretty strange things myself.

    I raise pullets with the flock all the time. My mature roosters don't both them until they are old enough to handle it.
     
  5. HSerChickLady

    HSerChickLady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 12, 2012
    upstate NY
    Thanks, i'm sure the current hens would be happy to share the attention with some others. And i'll wait till their older to introduce them if we need to put some newbie's in the established coop. Our new coop is going to be next to our current one so they'll be able to see each other through the fences as soon as the new one's get outside. I guess we'll just have to see how it goes if/when the time comes. Hopefully i'll have 1 less rooster by then too.
     
  6. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Merging 2 Flocks Together
    There is NO specific way to introduce them to each other for sure. Ages have a lot to do with it also? Pecking order has a lot to do with it? Over crowding is a big consideration. Feeding is the most competitive situation there is and the food is all about pecking order and regarding who gets first dibs and bragging rights. If they are you stand a better chance at integration.

    Here is what I would do.
    make sure you find out what are the new kids favorite foods so you can bribe them to you. they need to know and understand where is there new home so they need to be not only locked in the new coop/run/brooder during the day all day while the regular hens are around. build a chicken divider from the furthest place in the coop right up to the door of the coop and put the new on one side and the old on the other side but at night you need to carry the new girls to a temp sleeper so the old girls can go to their own coop/run/sleeper. You do not want them being disturbed daily cycle wise.put coop food/water exactly opposite the other sides food/water so they see each other every day after the first week or so quarantine time while eating. Why, food is the most competitive time and the survival of the fittest comes into play and they will hurt and pull feathers and peck to the point of hurting and drawing blood maintain the pecking order that is in place.week 3 after a max 2 week lock down in the temp side you will let them in the run together supervised and in the run as the referee between the 2 or 3 or even 4 top of the pecking order birds. You may just want to put the lower of the old group in the temp side of the coop supervised to see if they will be confrontational if not let them run around in the run but to bribe them and come back in the coop with bribes of favorite foods like mill worms or whatever if they will be good girls. start letting them in the 3 week time or 4th week start interacting together without you and your have done your part and great job. Its not always easy but look for fights or disputes but your really done merging 2 flocks safely.
    Best of luck to you.
     

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