Merging my existing 1 year olds with 2 new hens. Is it time?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Vanschelt, Mar 27, 2018.

  1. Vanschelt

    Vanschelt In the Brooder

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    Please watch above video and let me know your thoughts. There are 2 questions. Question 1 is about the merging of new chickens and question 2, americanas on left of fence have lost their cheek and beard feathers. Suggestions appreciated. Thanks
     
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    EE(often mistaken as Ameraucanas) often get their faces 'shaved' by their flock mates.
    Responded here:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/th...ers-and-cheek-feathers.1223822/#post-19748676


    After 5 weeks of side by side I'd try to let them meet.
    Do you free range? That can be a good way to give them lots of space for those first meetings and pecking order establishment.
    If no free ranging, give them lots of space, feed/water, and 'hiding' places.

    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.

    This used to be a better search, new format has reduced it's efficacy, but still:
    Read up on integration..... BYC advanced search>titles only>integration
    This is good place to start reading, BUT some info is outdated IMO:
    http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/adding-to-your-flock
     
    Wyorp Rock likes this.
  3. Vanschelt

    Vanschelt In the Brooder

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    Feb 6, 2018
    Very helpful. Thank you!
     

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