Introduction of new birds

Newtopoulrty

In the Brooder
May 3, 2020
33
46
33
We made the choice (wrong or right) to stagger when we got our chicks. Any advice on best way to introduce and prevent fighting among the flock? We have 5 (oldest) in the coop, we just introduced 4 younger birds. We have 9 left lol. Any advice is appreciated
 

Newtopoulrty

In the Brooder
May 3, 2020
33
46
33
Um I want to say about 4 months and 2 months??? I have pictures
 

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aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
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SW Michigan
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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/
 

igorsMistress

Frank and Abbys mom.
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Apr 9, 2013
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aart gave you some good tips. I'll just add that the younger the birds are the easier it has been for me. Once adults are involved the hiding places and multiple feeders are more important. Chicks don't really have the same attitude adults do.
 

Newtopoulrty

In the Brooder
May 3, 2020
33
46
33
Thank you both, I did have them in the same grow out pen but separate as stated above they could see each other but not interact much. They seem to be doing well but I am going to add another feeder just to be safe. There are already several water stations out there for them.
 

Mrs. K

Free Ranging
11 Years
Nov 12, 2009
8,954
11,353
636
western South Dakota
I did chicks to 8 week olds, and I was sure I would get them to tolerate each other, but I thought I would have two sub flocks, however, they have flocked up, and stay together all the time, which surprised me. I don't know if they will subdivide, when the two older ones start laying earlier than the others, but right now, they are a flock.

I am big fan of clutter in the run, lots of places to get away, or slow down a bigger bird.

Mrs K
 

Doc7

Songster
May 12, 2018
747
1,077
198
Central Virginia
Here is a video of my method. Right now I also have 6 day old chicks and will be integrating them with the 6 week olds and 1-2 year olds in the next 2 weeks.


Partially open separator inside the coop:

B201B93B-52F6-4C77-AF0F-01F256916FA2.jpeg
 

City Farmer Jim

Songster
Mar 18, 2020
545
1,060
216
South Texas close to Corpus Christi
I agree(I'm a newbie also) with AART that list of suggestions worked AWESOME. WE had a day of pecking order squabbles but our young birds figured it out very quickly and everyone seems to get all very well...my only words of advice would be not to panic as "pecking order" can be hard to watch the first day or two but is necessary for them to coexist. AART has answered questions on all subjects(chicken stuff) and had been correct and the outcome was just as he said it would. MANY knowledgeable people here to help with raising chickens.
 

Newtopoulrty

In the Brooder
May 3, 2020
33
46
33
You all are amazing and I am so glad I joined this group. They seem to be doing well i added more feeders and they all seem pleased now, the younger ones still run to crowd around me when i go into the coop and run, but I'm hoping eventually they will learn to all group together.
 

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