Introduction Pullets to Hens

dixiechik44

In the Brooder
7 Years
Jul 24, 2012
20
1
24
Vancouver Island
Hello BYC-ers!
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I have three 18 week old pullets (2 light brahmas and 1 salmon faverolle) they were replacements for 2 chickens who passed. Right now they're in a large wood and wire cage in the hens' run, and the hens seem to be stalking them. When I put the pullets in with the hens, the hens freak out and start pecking them and chasing after them. (keep in mind they've been together for about 3/4 of a month) I was thinking of putting them in with the hens late at night in the roost, but i'm worried the hens would wake up in the morning and start fighting with them (because chickens fight to the death, i've had expirence with that) so what would be the easiest way to start them living together?

Thank you!
 

teach1rusl

Love My Chickens
10 Years
Jul 28, 2009
10,017
174
356
Floyds Knobs, Indiana
My Coop
My Coop
How many hens do you have? Just wondering if the pullets are seriously outnumbered...

If you're able to free range at all, that's a great way to begin integrations, because nobody is defending home turf. Make sure 1) that the coop and run have plenty of space for your numbers 2) there are plenty of barriers inside the run (and housing if possible) such as stumps, branches, roosts, chairs, pretty much anything that would give the pullets places to hide or run behind, and 3) make sure there are more than one feeder and waterer available, spaced well apart. Oh, and if your housing has the space, you might add a roost along another wall, as roosting time can be brutal for newbies.

I know many suggest putting bird on the roost after it's dark, but I worry about what you mentioned - that the newbies will be attacked before I can get out there to referee. So I'd try an integration on a weekend morning when you have time to closely supervise...
 
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dixiechik44

In the Brooder
7 Years
Jul 24, 2012
20
1
24
Vancouver Island
There are 4 hens and 3 pullets. I did try the weekend morning thing, and my silver laced wyandottes just can't stand them. Should i let them sort it out like dogs do? (new dog comes, they fight, then they're friends) or intercept every time they're being bullied? I gave them a crate to hide in if they're being bullied (only 1 of them has figured it out) and some other boxes ect.
I wonder if they could get brain damage by getting pecked so much? lol
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teach1rusl

Love My Chickens
10 Years
Jul 28, 2009
10,017
174
356
Floyds Knobs, Indiana
My Coop
My Coop
If blood is being drawn, then you need to act immediately of course. But if it's a peck-peck, chase a few steps, and let the newbie go, then let them sort it out. Sadly, you will read occasional posts about the flock killing a new bird - if blood is drawn, then sometimes it attracts many in the flock - sometimes results in killing/canibalization.

I have sat out in my run with a squirt bottle, spraying the bully when attacking.
 

confusedturtle

Songster
8 Years
Apr 6, 2011
364
6
113
Virginia
I'm still fairly new to chickens but what I did was watch them and keep a squirt bottle handy. Every time the hens went after the pullets I sprayed them, after a day of it they settled down and did better. Mine only had about a 2 month age difference though, maybe it is different for the older more established hens. I will be finding out when I introduce my newbies to the 2 year olds. I'm still working on the new coop so it won't be for another week or so depending on how long my 1 year old son lets me work on it lol.
 

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