New Chicks

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by sooner737, Nov 22, 2014.

  1. sooner737

    sooner737 Hatching

    Oct 30, 2014
    I bought 2 new chicks to add to my flock of 5 laying hens. What is the best way to introduce them into the flock? I've noticed the older hens are very aggressive with the little ones.
  2. rje ma

    rje ma In the Brooder

    Apr 18, 2013
    You have to wait until they are about 12 weeks old. Last time I put them in a chicken tractor next to the adult girls run so they could see each other for a couple of weeks first.then I put them together and made sure they would be ok. It's also a good idea to have a place in the main run were the new ones can run and hide from the adults. Then the first couple of nights I had to carry the new girls into the coop to put them on the roost. They would not go in on there own. After a couple of nights they finally went in on their own. Good luck! It's also a good idea to add additional food stations and water. So they can have their own until they work out the pecking order.
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Here's some notes I've taken on integration that I found to be very helpful.
    See if any of them, or the links provided, might offer some tips that will assist you in your situation:

    Integration of new chickens to flock.

    Consider medical quarantine:
    BYC Medical Quarantine Article
    Poultry Biosecurity
    BYC 'medical quarantine' search

    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. Integrating new birds of equal size works best.

    For smaller chicks I used a large wire dog crate right in the coop for the smallers. I removed the crate door and put up a piece of wire fencing over the opening and bent up one corner just enough for the smallers to fit thru but the biggers could not. Feed and water inside the crate for the smallers. Make sure the smallers know how to get in and out of the crate opening before exposing them to the olders. this worked out great for me, by the time the crate was too small for the them to roost in there(about 3 weeks), they had pretty much integrated themselves to the olders.

    If you have too many smallers to fit in a crate you can partition off part of the coop with a wire wall and make the same openings for smallers escape.

    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 blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down, 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 and/or up and away from any bully birds.

    Read up on integration..... BYC advanced search>titles only>integration
    This is good place to start reading:

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