Introducing new pullets to flock


In the Brooder
Jul 6, 2016
Hi all! I have questions about how to introduce new chickens to my current flock. This is my first flock. Ive raised them from a day old. They are 6 weeks now. Two lavender orpingtons are roosters that i need to find a home for. I would like to replace them with two more and am wondering if i should get day olds again, brood them and then add to coop OR if i should try adding 2 pullets the same age. I need lots of advice on how to introduce them too. My 6 week olds are currently in the coop/run all day but havent spent overnight in coop. They dont even go up there to check it out! That is a whole seperare question i need answers for! Its dark and they just would rather sleep in the ground in the run! Thanks in advance for all your help!

You would probably have better luck getting pullets about the same age, they are far easier to integrate since they have not hit "puberty" yet. You may have to give them a separate run within the enclosure to get them used to each other, which can take a couple of weeks give or take. As far as the coop thing, try physically putting them in there after dark, they won't want to leave since they have poor vision at night, and after a few nights they should go in on their own. I would put the food and water in the coop and leave them in there for a couple of hours in the morning before putting everthing back in the run.
Lets talk about what integration means. All chickens use a pecking order to determine their position within the hierarchy. Once that is in place they generally get on without the sort of bullying and social scheming we humans seem to adore. Even little chicks from the moment they are able to run around and act like a little chicken are keyed to sort out their place in the world. Why is it called "pecking order"? Well because of the pecking! They will tussle with birds whom they do not know because they are having to reassess both their own place in the world and these new birds. In a philosophical sense any flocks could be integrated but the problem with birds of a wildly different age is that the little ones always get pecked on the worst because every single other bird is going to show the little ones they are the bottom birds. That being said you can introduce younger birds to your flock by keeping them separated by a barrier they can see through. That way they can get to know one another at first without being able to touch/peck. Another option is to create a door between those two spaces that is only large enough for the little ones to get into there by giving the pullets an escape route should things get too rowdy for them. Solutions abound. I always recommend getting the right breed for your situation and raising them up from chicks. Best Wishes.

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