Intruduced 2 new hens after a week of keeping them seperated

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by 88heather, Sep 13, 2009.

  1. 88heather

    88heather Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 9, 2009
    Black Forest, CO
    Our chickens are about 19 weeks old. We have 3 Roosters and 3 hens (2 of the roosters are for sale on craigslist.. still no takers.. darn!).. We bought 2 hens since we never thought we'd end up with so many roosters as they were "supposed" to be all hens.. Anywho.. The 2 new hens are 14 weeks old (Black Star "Ethel" and Red Star "Lucy"[​IMG]) were kept separated in a run where they could see each other for a week and we did "chicken playdates" [​IMG] where we'd put them in the run and go in with them for 20 minutes at a time.

    On Friday I put Lucy and Ethel in with the other 6 and held our breath and let them stay the night.. So now we are 2 nights in and they are fine but still get picked/pecked on.. Not too bad but they are staying in the coop and not coming out.(though they do come out a few times only to be pretty much run back in the coop) The coop has food and water.. so they'll be fine as I keep food and water both in the coop and outside of the coop. I assume with time it'll work itself out and they'll be part of the pack?

    Also I noticed the 2 worst at picking on the new hens seems to be the 2 hens (both easter eggers) that are lowest in the pecking order? I get the feeling that they want to assure that the 2 newbies stay lowest in the pecking order.. Actually I think my 3 hens are worse at being mean to them than the roosters.. although the roosters pick on them too.. but the hens do it worse.. as the hens are on the bottom of the pecking order

    Oh the chicken drama!!![​IMG]

    Lucy and Ethel (they were quarantined in the dog crate with fencing around.. before moving into the coop)

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Chicken03

    Chicken03 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 20, 2009
    Western Pa
    It will get better after a while.
     
  3. 88heather

    88heather Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 9, 2009
    Black Forest, CO
    I hope so.. maybe a handful of times the newbies have come out of the coop into the run only to be chased back in the coop!

    Should we be encouraging them to come out and monitor them?? They have food and water in the coop so they are ok and they just kind of get out of the way from the chickens when they come in the coop.

    How long do ya'll think it will be that the 2 new hens will come out and just be part of the group and be comfortable in the pack??

    I hope they are ok.. My husband came home today and told me how one of his coworkers who also has chickens also introduced a new chicken and the others killed it.. Now of course my husband had no info to give me like how old the newbie was or anything.. I just hope they will be ok. Lucy and Ethel I figure have each other to huddle with..

    Ugghhh.. when will they all just be friends??[​IMG]
     
  4. fldiver97

    fldiver97 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 5, 2009
    Middleton, WI
    Maybe you can seperate the coop/run with some chickenwire for a few days so they can safely move around and see/hear the other chickens up close without getting pecked. It may also help to sit with them all and 'supervise' their time together to make sure they don't get pecked too much. It may be easier to integrate them then.....Make sure they don't get pecked so much that blood is drawn....Are they much smaller in size than your first chickens?....That may also be a bigger disadvantage for tem. The pecking order has to be reestablished whenever you add/remove chickens to a flock. It can be stressful and OP have mentioned that sometimes chickens get badly injured or killed. If you check for older threads in the 'Managing your Flock' Section you may find more answers/suggestions.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2009
  5. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    You really should have quarentined them longer...at least 30 days if not longer.
     
  6. 88heather

    88heather Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 9, 2009
    Black Forest, CO
    The new hens are about a month younger than my chickens now. The new hens are about 15 weeks old and the first 6 are 20 weeks old. They are smaller but I figured were big enough to be ok.

    We had them separated in another run for a week so they could all see each other. I asked a friend of mine who has chickens about if a week is enough and she said Yes.. so that's why I went ahead and moved them in..

    Really a month? Should i move them back out into that other run area? Or put them back in the other run during the day and let them go in the coop at night?

    Or.. do i just let it be and work itself out since they have moved in already.. surely the others must be getting used to them? Of course I don't know much chicken psychology.. as we are new to this.[​IMG]

    thanks for any help/suggestions.. and I'll search more the older threads
     
  7. BLaBauve

    BLaBauve Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 14, 2009
    Georgia
    I would have to agree that you should keep them separated for 30 days. . . I learned the hard way. That being said I've been through this situation a few times. I too have had too many roosters this year and had to replace them with pullets. The few times I've done this the pullets were younger and did get picked on. Younger being a 1-3 weeks difference. It took a full week for the pecking order to be established. Then they got along wonderfully. This week I introduced 2 new pullets again after their 30 day quarantine. This time I removed my already established Bantam Cochins because they bully new pullets the worst. I will keep the bantams out of the main coop for a few days and put them back in 1 at a time - that way they are the new comer. This method has worked for me. Make sure your run has enough room/hiding spots for the new pullets to get away. Also, keep them happy and busy with treats or let them free range often.

    Good Luck!
     
  8. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    Quote:It isn't them getting to each other that's an issue....it's if they have any illness that they may expose your chickens to.
     
  9. 88heather

    88heather Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 9, 2009
    Black Forest, CO
    So do ya'll think I should move them back to their area I had?? Here's a pic of what we did.. We had a dog run that we butted up to the main run and put chicken wire on top of it.. The dog crate we'd just lock them up in that at night.

    Should I move them back to that set up? Should they be in the other run during the day and at sundown move them in the coop?

    we are newbies at all this.. I don't want them hurt and they seem to be doing fine.. but they seem to never want to come out of the coop

    Here's a pic of how we had them separated.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. 88heather

    88heather Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 9, 2009
    Black Forest, CO
    Oh.. never thought about illnesses? I have to guess that its too late for that as they've been mingling.. In fact the week we had them separated we'd bring them in for 20 minutes a day to be with the 6 while we supervised and broke up any pecking on them..

    oh the chicken drama![​IMG]
     

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