New Flock Introductions

sjv047

Hatching
Jul 12, 2016
6
2
9
I am having a 'wonderful' problem introducing a new set of chickens into the coop... I have 6 hens that are the oldest... I have introduced 6 more who are approximately 8-9 months old (so I have to assume they are old enough to integrate).

1. The oldest group wont leave the younger group alone...
2. we've tried to keep them separated, but cannot logistically due to the construction of the coop and run
3. I have enough roosting poles in the run AND the coop, but the new group will not use them... they have taken over a single nesting box near the floor... ALL six of them crowd in there every night and sleep... pooping all over the nesting box (and themselves in the process)
4. I've put them on the roosting poles manually numerous times, but they won't stay on it... keep jumping down and going into the nesting box
5. I've considered blocking the bottom nesting box to stop them from going into it, but do not want them to just jump ulabel:2.-personal-cbc-growth-groupp to the next nesting box and do the same thing there
6. currently the old group is still laying their eggs in the 2nd and 3rd nesting boxes, but again... if I block off the bottom one from the new group, I don't want the new group to take over the next box and so on...
7. I do let the old group out to free-range, and have left the new group in the run/coop, and that is just fine, but that doesn't solve anything...
8. I can let all out to free-range, and no problems, but at night when all together (again), the new group crushes themselves into the nesting box and... repeat!

Any ideas on how to get them to roost like normal chickens AND get along??? This has been going on now for 2 weeks with no change!

Thanks in advance!
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Suffering Succotash
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Jul 16, 2015
46,403
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Wisconsin
2 weeks isn't very long. You have basically brought intruders into the territory and the original hens will fight to hold the territory.

You didn't say the size of your coop. The new ones will need to stay away from the older ones for quite a while or risk being pecked and attacked. Generally it's about 5-10 feet. If your coop is small it will encourage aggression.

The new birds haven't had enough time to adjust to everything new yet. It can take a long while.
 

Mollzy08

Hatching
May 17, 2017
1
0
6
I am having similar issues, except mine all get along now, and have been trying to get them all to sleep in the coop at night, except the half of the new ones stay out in the run all night, and it's been over a month of me trying to put them in the coop myself. And now they are still sleeping in the run as well as two of my older chickens!
 

sjv047

Hatching
Jul 12, 2016
6
2
9
You might have to physically put them on the roost every night until they start doing it themselves.

Have done that a couple of time already (not consistently, nor for a long time). They can jump up to the roosting poles just fine... seen them do it many times... they just don't want to stay there.
 

sjv047

Hatching
Jul 12, 2016
6
2
9
2 weeks isn't very long. You have basically brought intruders into the territory and the original hens will fight to hold the territory.

You didn't say the size of your coop. The new ones will need to stay away from the older ones for quite a while or risk being pecked and attacked. Generally it's about 5-10 feet. If your coop is small it will encourage aggression.

The new birds haven't had enough time to adjust to everything new yet. It can take a long while.

The run is big enough for 20 birds according to my calculations... the coop has enough roosting poles for approximately 16 birds. I had these 2 different flocks separated for about 7 months... heard each other during that time, the 'old' group when out of the run could see them as well. Put the new group in a large dog crate and put that in the run and let the old group check them out for a day... opened the door and let them do as they wanted... no problems...took the crate away and let them live together... well that brings us to the nesting box and the fear in the new flock.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
99,873
140,998
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Getting along in the run is not the same as sharing roosting spots...that's the next step.
My long time lived together birds squabble every night.

Cover all the nests every night an hour before roosting time, then uncover after dark when you lock up or first thing in the morning before they need to lay.

I made a hinged cover for my nest bank to make this easier, cause every year the new pullets want to roost in nests for weeks.
 

MANNA-PRO

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