introducing new pullets

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by stephdownsouth, Nov 16, 2014.

  1. stephdownsouth

    stephdownsouth Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 21, 2014
    We got 5 pullets 8 weeks ago and they get along wonderfully. We introduced 3 new pullets (the same age) yesterday and the 5 seem to be picking on them. At one point all 8 were roosting on the same post....but then 1 of the original 5 will start pecking at a new girl, the rest follow suit, and the 3 new ones run for cover. At this age, is this normal and will they most likely work it out and become pals??
     
  2. chasiekitten12

    chasiekitten12 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Take them out of the coop and bring them in a box and at night when the chickens are asleep then put them in the coop. They will wake up and forget about the other hens.
     
  3. stephdownsouth

    stephdownsouth Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 21, 2014
    Thanks, chasiekitten12! We actually introduced them yesterday. The 3 new ones didn't go up into the roost last night but we put them in after dark. We are giving them full range of a very large run today and hope they just figure it out!
     
  4. chasiekitten12

    chasiekitten12 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh I hope they do! Good luck to you!
     
  5. chasiekitten12

    chasiekitten12 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They most likely will.
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I don't think the existing chickens will forget overnight that there are 3 new chickens in their territory....so you may see some scuffling as the pecking order is rearranged.

    Lots of space can help, as can places to hide out of one of sight and up/away from the 'bullies' and multiple feed/water stations are a must.


    Here's some notes I've taken on integration that I found to be very helpful.
    See if any of them, or the links provided, might offer some tips that will assist you in your situation:


    Integration of new chickens to flock.


    Consider medical quarantine:
    BYC Medical Quarantine Article
    Poultry Biosecurity
    BYC 'medical quarantine' search

    Confine new birds within sight but physically segregated from older/existing birds for several weeks, so they can see and get used to each other but not physically interact. Integrating new birds of equal size works best.

    For smaller chicks I used a large wire dog crate right in the coop for the smallers. I removed the crate door and put up a piece of wire fencing over the opening and bent up one corner just enough for the smallers to fit thru but the biggers could not. Feed and water inside the crate for the smallers. Make sure the smallers know how to get in and out of the crate opening before exposing them to the olders. this worked out great for me, by the time the crate was too small for the them to roost in there(about 3 weeks), they had pretty much integrated themselves to the olders.

    If you have too many smallers to fit in a crate you can partition off part of the coop with a wire wall and make the same openings for smallers escape.


    The more space, the better. Birds will peck to establish dominance, the pecked bird needs space to get away. As long as there's no blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down, let them work it out. Every time you interfere or remove new birds, they'll have to start the pecking order thing all over again.

    Multiple feed/water stations. Dominance issues are most often carried out over sustenance, more stations lessens the frequency of that issue.

    Places for the new birds to hide out of line of sight and/or up and away from any bully birds.

    Read up on integration..... BYC advanced search>titles only>integration
    This is good place to start reading:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/adding-to-your-flock
     
  7. stephdownsouth

    stephdownsouth Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 21, 2014
    Thank you aart. This is fantastic advice. I know there will be scuffling, I just hate to see it, particularly when the new girls are so timid and the established never showed any aggression amongst themselves prior to this introduction. I've dealt with a real bully hen in the past and do not want a repeat performance.
    Again, thanks so much for the input.
     

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