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Introducing new hens

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by mysweetclaire, Mar 12, 2015.

  1. mysweetclaire

    mysweetclaire New Egg

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    Hi there! I am new to the forum and pretty stinkin new to chicken raising as well. We have a very small group of hens we keep just for eggs for our little family. We purchased three black sexlink pullets last spring and just got two ISA brown hens. I have read all the advice (unfortunately a bit late) about keeping the old and new hens separated but we just don't have the room to do so. We did introduce the new hens after the old ones were roosting and have been letting them have the whole backyard as they get to know each other. One of my new hens is extremely timid and submissive and now (day 3) had a small injury on the back of her comb. Is there anything I can do short of housing her in my own house or giving her away? Things are finally calming down a bit in the pecking order and I don't want to go through introducing her again if I can avoid it. She is as sweet as can be and I would love to keep her but not if she is just gonna get pecked to death![​IMG]
     
  2. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life Out of the Woods Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC!
     
  3. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Hello there and welcome to BYC!

    Introducing new birds to a flock needs to be done slowly. An existing flock does not take well to new flock members. The pecking order is brutal. Here is a nice article from our learning center on mixing new birds you will want to read...https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/adding-to-your-flock

    I like to use those large dog crates or even one of those Peck N Play enclosures and keep the new birds in these for about 3 weeks. Everybody sees, nobody touches. This allows for some of the pecking order to reorganize. In about 3 weeks, you can mix everybody in. And never mix in birds with wounds. Chickens can turn cannibalistic and can kill another bird that has any blood or open sores by pecking them to death. I like to use blu-kote on all open red looking sores.

    When you mix in new birds always add more water and feed stations as the new birds can be starved out completely. And it is always best to mix in more than one bird to a flock if you can. It can take months for new birds to adjust to a new flock.

    Good luck establishing your flock and we do welcome you to our roost!
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

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    Welcome to BYC! [​IMG]I'm glad you joined us.

    You've received some excellent advice already from TwoCrows! Good luck with your submissive hen.
     
  5. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    What a sweet looking hen, I hope you will keep her. If one hen is bothering her, put her in "time out." The victim has had enough punishment . Even when you don't have enough room you can just partition off a section with wire(if you don't have a cage) so the can get used to each other without bloodshed.
     
  6. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC! Good luck integrating your hen.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC! Please make yourself at home and we are here to help.

    I did something similar to TwoCrows last year. I mixed my flock when the chicks were around 10 weeks. After a week or so of the see but don't touch method, I let them mix. After a month or so of working the pecking order out, they all got along fine and now act like long lost friends!
     
  8. mysweetclaire

    mysweetclaire New Egg

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    Mar 12, 2015
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    So would it work well enough to keep the two new gals in a wire crate during the day (or block off my run to my old gals who could be in the backyard) and then place the new hens on the roost after my older gals are all tucked in? My husband is an early riser and has been going out first thing in the morning and could separate them.
    Just for fun, here are my beautiful older ladies: Ginger, Babbs and Edwina[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2015
  9. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

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    That would probably work fine
     

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