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Introducing New Hens

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Chicken Digital, Jan 28, 2015.

  1. Chicken Digital

    Chicken Digital Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 28, 2015
    I currently have Two Hens that are 6 months old. I was given two hens that are now almost 4 months old. I have had them for almost a month in a coop next to my other two hens in a separate Coop. They have been able to look at each other the whole time. They have free ranged together. The older hens generally don't pay them any mind. The dominant hen will occasionally chase them around. I tried the other day to put them together and found my new hens huddling in the corner being pecked on by the dominant hen. I am nervous about them getting seriously injured and immediately took them out. Should I just let them tough it out together or try some other techniques??
     
  2. lightchick

    lightchick Overrun With Chickens

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    I'd put them together. Just put two water/feed stations in there so they'll be more likely to be allowed to eat/drink. They should get used to each other fairly quickly.
     
  3. Chicken Digital

    Chicken Digital Out Of The Brooder

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    Is it safe? The two hens were just sitting there huddled in the corner, being pecked.
     
  4. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    I would break up a brawl like that... don't know how others would handle it.
     
  5. AnnieE

    AnnieE Out Of The Brooder

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    About a month ago, i introduced two 3-4 yr old hens to my current flock of 6 10 month olds. I didnt have the ability/setup to separate them, so i put out an extra water and food dish in the furthest corner of the (decent sized) run. I witnessed a couple of wing pulling incidents but it only happened when one of the new (older) birds got flustered and turned around. I havent noticed any pecking on mine, but i think putting out food/water in a separate area can help. When i come home from work to let mine out, the new (older) hens are usually in their "area" while my originals are in the other.
     
  6. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Maybe put your dominant girl in the separate coop by herself for a while and let the 2 new girls get used to their new place and gain a little confidence. Then when you put your dominant one back in, she'll be the "odd man out". It might cause enough of an attitude adjustment that she doesn't bully them as much.

    Ditto on the extra feed/water stations. Maybe toss in a couple of flock blocks or cabbage heads to give her something to occupy herself with rather than picking on the newbies. Also provide additional roosting places so the new girls can get away from her if they need to.

    Good luck. I'll be watching to see the advice you get from others. I have two bantam pullets that I'm going to try and integrate into my flock of 6 large fowl birds. My good-natured BOs should be pretty accepting but my BRs can be down right b*tchy so I'm a little worried. I'd prefer to have given them some time to free range together and ease them into it but now I'm under 2+ feet of snow so have no choice but to introduce them in the run. Hopefully it goes well otherwise I'll be building a second coop come springtime.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2015
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Good advice there^^^^ Especially the bolded part.

    Might also try to provide some hiding places 'out of line of sight' for the newbies.
    Just leaning a board up against the coop wall can help, just don't create a dead end where they might get trapped.
     
    1 person likes this.

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