Introducing new (young) birds to small flock

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Animalian, Jun 18, 2011.

  1. Animalian

    Animalian Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 18, 2011
    I am the proud owner of a small flock of bantams consisting of Milly the Rhode Island Red and Heather the Salmon Faverolle who have lived happily together for the past two years.
    Yesterday I picked up two 9 week old-ish new girls, Echo a Silver penciled Plymouth Rock and Ebony, a non standard coloured Belgian D'uccle!

    I would like some advice on how I can make them accept each other and live in the same coop. I'vefound methods online but I'd like some tried and tested ideas from all you chickeny people [​IMG]

    I haven't tried introducing them yet, I currently have the pullets in a large rabbit cage where the other girls can see them (they will be free ranged on alternate days to the older girls from next week). I was going to keep them in there until they were a little bigger, to better defend themselves etc if the intro didn't go well. My hens didn't seem very fazed about the pullets being there after about two minutes of loud "omg look at this!!" clucking, so I'm not sure whether to wait. I'm pretty sure the faverolle will be fine but the RIR attacks my golden retriever!!! So I'm worried what she'd do to a young chicken!
  2. miraclz5

    miraclz5 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 5, 2011
    Southeastern Ohio
    One of the best ways to introduce new birds is to wait until dark....put the new birds in the coop....and when they wake up.....they will think it has always been the 4 of them! This is what all my vetran chicken friends have said....and I have read it several places as well. Good luck!!!
  3. Animalian

    Animalian Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 18, 2011
    Thanks miraclz5.
    Still don't know whether to wait till the newbies are bigger though. I guess I could try putting them in and then wake up way before dawn to watch what happens.
  4. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Chicken Obsessed

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    they need to be the same size, or close to it. Also, check your run, and make sure there are some obstacles, and an outdoor roost. I think it helps if a hen can get out of site, or by dodging around some things it slows down the pursuit, and by having different levels, they can get away from each other. Have more than one feeder and waterer spread apart so the original chickens cannot prevent the new ones from eating or drinking

    But do not put littler chicks in with full grown birds. They should be close to the same size.

  5. Animalian

    Animalian Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 18, 2011
    Ok awesome thanks alot mrsk
    I let them partially free range (a few hours a day) in shifts the same area, would it be best to introduce them in that space at first? Being as they would all know their way around, theres food in both coops to go back to and lots of shrubs?

    Or do you also agree with the 'slipping them in at night' idea?
  6. cubalaya

    cubalaya Overrun With Chickens

    Nov 19, 2008
    central virginia
    i think you should quarantine them away from your birds first, and then slip them in at night while they are roosting.
  7. momsflock

    momsflock Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 31, 2011
    I have the same issue, and I did place mine in at night, but the older ones did not accept the new ones. I think they need to be the same size to do that. My older ones are only 2 months older, and they were hurting the little ones, so I caged them separate next to each other. For the past month, I have been letting them visit each other for a little while, then separating them. At night they slept in different cages. Today, I placed them together, and 2 hens were hurting them, so I took out the 2 bullies and placed them in a pen next to all the others. Now that the 2 bullies are gone, everyone is getting along great! This is my first flock, so I am still new. Hope this helps [​IMG]
  8. Animalian

    Animalian Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 18, 2011
    Quote:I bet the bullies will be out back in their place when they become the 'new guys' again lol
    cubalaya I am quarentining them to the extent that I can. We don't have a massive back yard, and they can't come in the house. I have a pen I've been putting the pullets in so their 'free range' is restricted from getting too close to the other coop. Bit Hard cos if the RIR wants to go somewhere, she WILL work out a way to get ther lol

    Ok guys will definately wait till their bigger and introduce at night! Watching carefully at daybreak, fingers crossed nobody gets savaged!
  9. Animalian

    Animalian Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 18, 2011
    Just letting everyone know, I let them all free range together yesterday and today, separating them again at night. There were a few squabbles, mainly Heather pecking/jumping on them a bit. But the new girls followed my older ones into the 'big girl coop' at sundown and they are all roosting together. I'm so proud [​IMG]

    Gonna get up before sunrise tomorrow to let them out so they aren't 'trapped' if heather decides to get snippy again! Yay for my little flock! lol

    Also the young ones should start laying soon, I'm thinking mixing the pullet grower pellets with the layer pellets would be a good idea to feed everyone?
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2011

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