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New flock ready to enter with old flock

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Chquinta, Feb 13, 2015.

  1. Chquinta

    Chquinta Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 5 new chickens that are ready to enter the coop/run. My old chickens are new to laying prolly 2 months now and I just got 5 new chickens that are 4 months old. I just put them in there at night from what they told me it's easier when it's night time but I'm worried what's going to happen in the morning as I'm not up that early it will prolly be 7- 7:30 when I go out there.
     
  2. dawgfan01

    dawgfan01 Out Of The Brooder

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    What I do to transfer mine in is get a big wire Dog cage and put it in the center of my coop and pretty much they can't get out but can see out and see in so they get more and more adapted to each other.
     
  3. Chquinta

    Chquinta Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok so my chicken were scared to death and would not come out from underneath a corner table that's in the coop. I placed the new birds in my old chicken coop in the inside of the bigger coop/run the new chickens can come down and eat and the old birds can't touch them just look and hear them. So how long should I leave them in there before I try to put them together again. They are ver aggressive with my new birds pecking hard and like mounting them. My Roo even pulled a chunk of feathers and meat it looks like.
     
  4. lalaland

    lalaland Overrun With Chickens

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    a couple of things:

    It will probably take weeks before you can integrate the new chickens. I can't tell if you have them fenced off from the old flock or not, but you should - chicken wire is fine - and when they start to settle down, throw treats at the fence line so both sets of chickens are coming to the fence for the treats - gets them close with something to think about besides getting each other.

    In my experience, the rooster might be the biggest problem - they seem more set on keeping newcomers away from everything.

    Where the chunk of feathers and meat is missing,you might want to spray blue kote - it stains the skin/wound with purple and makes it less likely for the chickens to peck each other. Chickens will peck at open wounds and can actually kill a chicken with an open wound from the pecking.


    When you think they are easing up on each other, and it is better to wait a long long time, because it is harder to fix it if you jump the gun and the integration goes badly......then switch quarters. Take the old flock, move it to the new flock's coop and space, and take the new flock and move it to the old flock's coop and space. Leave them that way for a few days, and then at night do two things: first remove the barrier separating the two flocks, and 2nd, make as many changes as possible to the run space. Move everything around and add some barriers that break up the space. The barriers can be anything - logs, bales of hay, cardboard boxes weighted so they don't blow over, tires, garbage cans......what you want to do is to make so many changes that when they come out they are totally confused, and also that there are places to hide behind - out of sight is out of mind for chickens. Then, be sure to be there when letting them out in the morning to observe and intervene if you need to. There will be squabbling - you will have to let it happen. If it seems bad, distract them by throwing scratch. Make sure you have multiple water and feed stations. Watch to make sure everyone gets to eat and drink. Its good to plan this day for a day when you can be home.


    I have had a rooster that would not accept the newcomers, and I finally had to cull the rooster. Hopefully that won't happen for you.
    Next time, you might want to think about quarantine before you add chickens to your flock. You can search byc and you will find a ton of info about the reasons why and how to do it.

    Good luck!
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I'd leave them in the same coop but separated by wire for at least 2-3 weeks.
     
  6. Chquinta

    Chquinta Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I did have them quarantined now it time to let them meet so I can put them together but when I saw them attacking them I put them in a separate coop but inside the big coop. I took the biggest chicken out and feed them all mealworms and 1 chicken pecked at her them went off then I picked her up and put her on the roost where the adults sleep and she walked over the the rest and sat down and the same hen pecked her twice and then left her alone the others just looked at her I didn't want to chance it and leave her out so I put her back to the other new girls.
     
  7. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    The pecking is going to happen. By keeping them separated by a fence for a bit, it may lessen the severity of it, but it's still going to happen when they are in the same space. It's how they establish the pecking order. Chickens are territorial and don't like change. Newcomers threaten their territory, and cause change. Unless blood is being drawn or one is being pinned down and unable to defend herself, I would let them work things out. Chicken society isn't always pretty. Roosters do tend to try to keep newcomers from their flock because that's their job. Protect their hens from any perceived threat.
     

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