new hens in the flock

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by cottonwallaby, Jan 28, 2016.

  1. cottonwallaby

    cottonwallaby Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 30, 2015
    Hi all
    I got two new hens to add to my four. They are all about 6 months old. Today is the 6th day. I have been keeping them in a partitioned off section of the run with tjeir own crate and giving them the full run when the others go out to free range. Today i let them all out to free range together for a few hours, expecting the new ones to go back to their crate when it got dark, but they all went to the main roost in the coop to roost together. The free ranging together went pretty well. There were a few scuffs but nothing particularly nasty. I will be down to check on them first thing in the morning....any thoughts on whether they will be ok to merge in the run without too much viciousness? I hadn't planned on doing it until they have had a few more free ranging outings together...
  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    I'd say leave them to it. If the newbies have elected to roost with the others, it means they are fairly confident. A few minor squabbles are likely to continue, but if you have multiple feeding stations not within eyesight of each other, it should help keep them to a minimum.

    All the best
  3. N F C

    N F C phooey! Premium Member Project Manager

    Dec 12, 2013
    x2 on CTKen's advice. Your girls are big enough now they should be able to hold their own and it sounds like they felt comfortable with the others roosting.
  4. azygous

    azygous Flock Master

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    It would seem they're already pretty well integrated. Good job! I'd do away with the crate and let them manage for themselves from here on.

    There's a big difference introducing new hens to a large flock and putting them in with just a few in a small one. The number of different interactions is much smaller in a flock such as you have. Unlike humans, who tend to ignore strange people among them when the numbers are large, chickens develop a relationship with each flock member and rank themselves within it. This governs their behavior. It's easier and quicker with just a few chickens than with a couple dozen or more.

    As your flock grows in size, this exercise will take longer and become more complicated in the future.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by