Introducing two hens to a flock of two.

Uhmanduh

Hatching
Sep 20, 2021
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I have been reading on the best practices of introducing chickens to a preexisting flock. I haven’t seen much on what to expect or the best way to introduce two new hens that have been raised together to a preexisting flock consisting of only two hens. Does anyone have any tips or tricks? I would greatly appreciate it as I had to thin my flock of four to two as two ended up being Roos and I can’t have roosters in the city =[.
 

LEMAYTXCKNCOUNSELOR

Songster
Premium Feather Member
Oct 23, 2021
215
1,058
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Are they in a coop? I'm guessing yes. We free range but what we do is put the new kids in a crate. That way everyone can see each other, then after some time you put them together. Some people have luck putting the new kids in the coop after dark and when they all wake up together they are friends. Your results may vary.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Nov 27, 2012
100,619
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SW Michigan
My Coop
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Are you getting chicks or older birds?
How much coop and run space do you have?

If chicks....
https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/integrating-new-birds-at-4-weeks-old.72603/


If older birds.....
Consider biological/medical quarantine:
BYC Medical Quarantine Article



Here's some tips about.....
Integration Basics:
It's all about territory and resources(space/food/water).
Existing birds will almost always attack new ones to defend their resources.
Understanding chicken behaviors is essential to integrating new birds into your flock.

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.

In adjacent runs, spread scratch grains along the dividing mesh, best if mesh is just big enough for birds to stick their head thru, so they get used to eating together.

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 copious blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down and beaten unmercilessly, 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'(but not a dead end trap) and/or up and away from any bully birds. Roosts, pallets or boards leaned up against walls or up on concrete blocks, old chairs tables, branches, logs, stumps out in the run can really help. Lots of diversion and places to 'hide' instead of bare wide open run.
Good ideas for hiding places:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/a-cluttered-run.1323792/
 

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