Looking for SUCCESS stories on adding new hen to established flock!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by lilmama, Oct 5, 2010.

  1. lilmama

    lilmama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 2, 2010
    Hello,

    I just brought home a 3 month old and am adding her to a flock of three 7 month old's. (all 4 are standard breeds.)
    Right now she is in the coop with them but separated by little rabbit hutch/cage, so she is totally contained. So far they are just looking at her and one is pecking the cage a little.
    I've heard so many bad stories, I would like to feel hopeful that she will add nicely to the flock in time. Would like to hear some success stories.
    (I'm hoping in a few weeks I can slip her on the roost with them at night..... for now I can let the bigger ones free range in the yard and let her have the run of the coop for period during the day.)

    Thanks!
     
  2. lilmama

    lilmama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 2, 2010
    and wanted to add, we had a hen die yesterday (was very ill for no known reason, we think she was sick from birth). So, maybe since there were four of them up to yesterday morning it won't be such a problem? wishful thinking?
     
  3. chics in the sun

    chics in the sun Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 1, 2010
    St.Petersburg
    Well, that is a pretty big size difference, but you might be okay. I added a Marans to my flock of BR, PR, and a White Leghorn. I had her in a cage where they could see her for a week, then let them free-range together. They pecked and chased a little, but no major blood drawn or damage done. I think the three were 18 weeks and the Marans was 15 weeks, if I'm remembering correctly. There wasn't much size difference. It has taken months for her to truly be accepted into the flock, where they are not chasing her, making her sleep on the other end of the roost, letting her eat treats with them, etc. But the adjustment was fairly civil. Now I have to start all over in a few months when the Leghorn is done hatching her babies and I need to integrate her back in. I had her out earlier and the BR pecked her a few times really hard. It never ends.[​IMG]
     
  4. SugarDuck

    SugarDuck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 12, 2010
    Lamar, AR.
    We have a group of 5 hens we bought in March. They were the oldest chickens we had. In May we got some more chickens. The second group started out as 9 but has dwindled to 5. One died the other 3 were roos ( we gave them away ). We recently introduced a couple of one year olds to the flock. The original group pecked them for the first few days. The second group took right up with them. After keeping the separated for 30 days. We introduced them back into the group. The only time they get attacked is when they are being fed. Now ours free range all day long and then go back to the coops/hutches at night. However, the second group still loves having them around. It brought their group up to seven, but they get picked on at feeding time by the orginal group as well. We have a BO Roo in the second group growing up. Hopefully, he will set everyone straight some day. I say take your time like you are doing. There will always be a pecking order but it won't be an all day process of her getting attacked.
     
  5. ninjascrub69

    ninjascrub69 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 13, 2010
    Bloomingdale, MI
    Just keep her in the cage for a while and let her loose, they will pick on her for a while but eventually they will stop (so much harder than introducing a rooster)
     
  6. chicken wild

    chicken wild Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 20, 2010
    Franklin Ga
    Keep her in the cage for a while.
     
  7. Louise's Country Closet

    Louise's Country Closet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 5, 2010
    Garrison, MN
    I'll probably be the exception to everyone else in the way that I put my little girls in with the big girls before I probably should. We start out for the first week just putting them in the run while the big girls are out roaming the yard so they get the feel for that, and the week after we put them all together but I stay there to watch. Towards the end of the week I stop watching less (there will be pecking and it'll be cruel but I've noticed mine don't do much but pull out a few feathers by accident when they're not careful, or else they just peck them to move them out of the way). Then I put them in there at night after those two weeks and leave them in there to 'fight it out'. I think I'm lucky in the way that my chickens do have a pecking order but things aren't as awful and terrifying as some people have had on this board. Within a week everyone is settled and things go back to the way they were before.

    I should note that I always put them in with 2 or more so that one isn't being picked on by herself.. the pecks are spread out between them then and I have the babies in another run that's connected to the older chickens so they know they exist weeks before I put them in the 'big girl' coop. I did my best to go along with some of the advice that people gave here but in the end I went by what my girls were doing and how much they could handle, so what might be easy for me or anyone else might not work for you.. but maybe you'll find something that works even better than ours [​IMG]
     
  8. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    I have never introduced a SOLO chicken to my flock. I have introduced two hens, and then later several batches of four young pullets as they grew up (feed store chicks brooded in the house then brought outdoors).

    For the two newbie hens who were layers, and my flock hadn't started laying yet, I segregated them in their own coop and run. It was an A-Frame coop with the bottom pen, inside the whole chicken compound run. So they were surrounded by the original flock who was not able to injure them. They could see, hear, and smell each other, and even chest bump through the pen hardware wire, if they so choosed. They had their own food and water. I kept them there for 2 weeks before I opened the bottom pen door to let them join the rest of the flock.

    By then, nobody was a stranger, and nobody really cared that there were two new ladies. Other than the "You can't eat before *I* do" sorts of things. Minor pecking to show them they had lesser rank, that's all.

    I do the same with the youngsters I introduce, by putting them into a grow-out coop, setting up a temporary run around it with garden stakes and chicken wire (all this is inside the main run). They have their own food and water. Same ability to see and hear the others, etc. After two weeks, I took down the temporary fence and let them all mingle. Just as with the first two, little or no pecking order problems - just the occasional peck. But I did leave extra waterers and feeders so the Original Chickens couldn't keep them away from nourishment.

    My flock also ranges freely in the whole yard, so the little "gangs" of youngsters can hang out together and not feel like they're all alone in the Big Flock. That's why I don't introduce single chickens or chicks, always multiples.
     

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