Sharing a coop


8 Years
Feb 1, 2011
Can anybody please help.

I had two chickens and recently bought another two, they are all getting on reasonably well but for going into the hen house at night. The two older birds are pushing the other two out! I am expecting delivery of a few more hens on Tuesday and wonder if I should put the existing four in the run and hen house that the two new ones have been using. Any help on making them learn to share (sounds like children!) would be greaatly appreciated. Thanks.

You'll get more feed back posting this in Flock Management section. Also look up threads that talk about integrating your flock. You can use the search tool and key word "Flock Integrating".

It's takes one to two weeks for new birds to be introduced to your flock. That your flock of 2 just doubled then I'd say your established birds are protecting nesting area more than establishing any kind of pecking order. Which is kinda funny to think about. With even more birds on the way and all being relativly new excepting your original 2 I'd think your integration will go much smoother than adding 2 birds to an established flock of 4 or 6. They will associate and establish a natural pecking order, it's not to be discouraged unless they start to gang up on one or blood is being drawn.

Make sure you have enough roosting space in your coop for all birds. If the coop is ONLY used for roosting at night and passing through to nesting boxes then 2.5 sqft per bird is plenty space. I have a 4x4 coop with 2 roosting poles same hight for 7 birds. Back when I was integrating 2 leghorns to my point of lay flock they would allow them into the coop at night but come morning they beat on them in the run so feirce I had to let them free range, then all would go back into the coop at night.
It will definitely take time. For my birds, it took well over a month before my girls accepted two new pullets I added. As was mentioned already, make sure you have PLENTY of roosting space. I actually added a temporary roost for my pullets back when I went through this, because some of my girls were being so mean.
You may have to go inside and place your new hens on the roosts after dark each evening for about a week. It might help that your two originals wake up beside the newbies each morning.
The more space you have in your shelter and in the run, the better things will go. If you can freerange (especially once you bring in the other new ones you'll be getting), this will help a lot. Good luck!
I too introduced 2 new sets of newbies at different times to my existing 6 birds. I set each new set of the newbies in a cage for 2-3 days in the run, and coop at nite for them to sniff and check each other out. When I released them in the run, they fussed some for a couple days, and established there order. But, like your situation, the newbies would not go into the coop at nite. I always leave a nite lite on at nite in the coop, so, just at dark, the newbies would be on the run roost while the others were in the coop on roost, I would put each newbie in the pop door and they all stayed in ALL nite. After 3 nites of putting them in by hand, they all went in on thier own without my help anymore. Gotta love the stuff huh? LOL. I know have 12 hens, and 1 frizzle B.O. roo

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