New chickens


Apr 24, 2021
Nunawading Victoria
Hi so I have got 2 new sussex hens that have completed quarantine then been on the other side of the fence visible to my current australorps for a week. This weekend I integrated them all together and after the initial squabbling they kept in there own groups however I noticed today that for no reason at all my australorps would come from one side of the yard to the other just to peck and intimidate the sussex who duck their heads and run away. My question is, is this normal and if so how long should I expect this to last for? Cheers.


Jul 31, 2021
United States
That's normal! They're establishing their new pecking order. Sometimes it can take as long as three weeks and sometimes only a few days. It's important to keep an eye on the new ones to make sure they're getting food and water and aren't being injured by the others.


Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Nov 27, 2012
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Pretty normal.
How old, in weeks or months are these birds?

Here's some tips about......
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.

Good ideas for hiding places:

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