Need suggestions on how to introduce 2 pullets to a couple of old hens

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by VT Chick-lit, May 25, 2008.

  1. VT Chick-lit

    VT Chick-lit In the Brooder

    I need some suggestions on how to introduce two 5 week old pullets to my small flock of two 2 year old hens. [​IMG] I want the new girls to be safely incorporated into the flock. I have heard that chickens can peck younger or weaker chickens to death when they are added to the flock. [​IMG] [​IMG] I just got my two new RIR pullets today. They are being kept safely in my basement in a large (2'x3') crate with a screened cover for tonight. After that I hope to have some suggestions on how to begin the introductions. I thought that I might use a 2' x 1 1/2' welded wire cage that I have so that they could be in at night in the hen house with the other hens. Would that be a good start? My hens do not free range (too many predators), so the enclosed run is an issue. It is 6' x 12' x 5' and not big enough to subdivide. Help! [​IMG]
  2. Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2008
    Birnamwood, Wisconsin
    What I have heard is to introduce them with wire between for a few days so they can see one another first. Then introduce them when you can watch them for a few hours to see how they do. I have to do this soon too but mine are only a week apart! Shouldn't be to hard i hope!
  3. ibpboo

    ibpboo Where Chickens Ride Horses

    Jul 9, 2007
    always changing
    Hopefully your hens are friendly and its easy to introduce. You can let them see each other by placing cage inside of their pen. some say if you put them in at night when they are already roosting and they wake up together, that makes it easier. Some hens easily accept newcomers, and some never do. good luck, keep us posted!
  4. a2ms4chickens

    a2ms4chickens Songster

    Dec 16, 2007
    Tucson, AZ
    I had 4 bantam RIRs that I introduced a BO, BR and a Red s-link 2 mos olds to. I kept the newcomers in a separate pen for a couple of weeks, so my RIRs could get used to them being around. After 2 weeks, I put the 3 newbies on the roost at night, with the RIRs. The next morning, the RIR hens chased around the little ones, but after a couple of days, all was calm.

    The 3 newbies stayed together for a week or two before mixing with the RIRs, but they all get along now.

    Now I have 4 standard RIR chicks that I have to introduce to the flock. They are in the pen, in a pet cage, with all of the other chickens. I will keep them there for a couple of weeks, then I'll put them on the roost at night. Hopefully, they will mix in as well as the other ones did.

    Do expect some pecking and chasing for a couple of days until the pecking order has been established. But it will pass.

    Good luck!!!
  5. BantyHugger

    BantyHugger Songster

    May 23, 2008
    Introductions for me have been fairly easy. There is pecking like Chik-lit said but normally nothing serious. Keep your eyes out for wounds. If a bird has an open wound the adults (and the other youngster) will peck none stop. Thats what normally leads to death. I give mine a look over in the morning and at night.[​IMG]
  6. VT Chick-lit

    VT Chick-lit In the Brooder

    Well, I started the introductions between my 2, two year old hens and the 2 new chicks (6 weeks old). The introductions began yesterday. I took some 30" tall garden fencing and partitioned off a corridor against one side of the chicken run. This area was covered with additional fencing so that it was a secure place for the pullets, protecting them from Pebbles and Roxy (my Austrolorp and Wyandotte hens).

    I brought the young ones into the enclosure in their cage. The hens were instantly curious, then indignant, and then angry! The cage was set in the entrance to their partitioned area and the door was opened. After several minutes and many nervous cheeps, they left the cage and started to peck at the grass. Pebbles and Roxy glared thru the fencing a the pullets, pecking them in the head if they wandered too close to the common fence. [​IMG] There was alot of clucking, squacking, and attempts at crowing from the big girls. They also strutted, feverishly scratched, and paced that section of the enclosure all day.

    The pullets were placed in the hen house with the big girls last night. They were in their cage to keep them safe from Roxy and Pebbles in the coup. There was quite a bit of grumbling from the big girls before they all settled down and slept. Today I repeated the routine, with less complaints from Roxy and Pebbles. Hopefully, in time, They will all get along with out the cage or barrier between them. [​IMG]
  7. hot wing stables

    hot wing stables Songster

    May 28, 2008
    But it is going to be hard letting the chicks out because one of them is a cockerel. and we have a Cock with the newbies and the RIR Hens who are now taking care of their new chicks.

    Good Luck, I hope they get along well!
  8. Dawn419

    Dawn419 Lost in the Woods

    Apr 16, 2007
    Evening Shade, AR
    I just introduced 2 new girls to our main flock yesterday. One had been in the "grow-out" section of our main coop/run (Post Brooder Coop), the other pullet was kept in an area in the front yard. I introduced them just before I knew the main flock would get ready to roost.

    Stevie Chicks (from the Post Brooder Coop) was introduced first and it went surprisingly well but after her first "I'm putting you in your place" peck by the lowest hen, was ready to go back to her old home. I threw the gang some freshly pulled weeds with bugs and got their mind off her.

    After about an hour, I added the second girl (Twiggy), along with more weeds and bugs. Total fiasco at that point! So I went into the run and changed out the water and threw a handful of feed out. At that point, everyone chilled and she eventually decided that the coop was the place to be.

    It was warm last night so the main flock roosted outside and gave Twiggy the coop. She was still in the coop when I checked on her first thing so I added a waterer, just incase. Checked back an hour later and she was out and about, like she'd always belonged. There was still an occassional fuss but I think my occassional distractions helped immensely.

    Both newbies are the same size as the top 3 hens and I know that was a big help as I watched both the newbs finally stand their ground later this afternoon when I threw them some black oil sunflower seeds.

    Stevie is 19 weeks old, Twiggy is 15 weeks...added to hens that turned a year old on May 14th of this year.

  9. VT Chick-lit

    VT Chick-lit In the Brooder

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] I have finally been able to get my two 14 week old pullets to be in the same pen with one of my two, 2 year old hens. I am sooooooo [​IMG] excited. It has taken a long time to get the little girls to be able to be in the pen with a big girl with out getting pecked and chased unmercifully.

    The young ones have been in a cage within the hen house at night so that they were with the 2 big girls without actualy being "with" them. During the day they were in a run within the larger run, so that they could all be close with out all the pecking. We built a second run from our hen house 4 weeks ago so that the big girls could be in a larger enclosure and the little girls could get out of their small run within the other run.

    The other day the young ones got into the big girls pen. There was alot chaseing, squalking, and pecking, until we finally got them seperated and back in their own pen. Yesterday, one of the big girls accidentally got into the other run with the young ones and she did not peck or chase them. Instead she scratched and pecked the grass and ground, looking for bugs. I realised then, that she was the outsider in the 2 young ones little flock and she did not have her buddy to help her terrorize the young ones.

    This evening we put one of the hens in with the young ones and there was only a couple of pecks and then there was calm. Yes! [​IMG] We will introduce the other hen the same way in a couple days and hope that we have the same results. Then we will put them all together and hope for peace among the flock.
  10. Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2008
    Birnamwood, Wisconsin
    That turned out well! Congrats! Hope the next one is just like this introduction [​IMG]

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: