Socializing new chickens


8 Years
Dec 30, 2011
We just adopted 2 lehorns that were kept in a cage for the sole purpose of laying eggs. We introduced them to our 3 Golden Comet girls and the leghorns are very bossy, pecking the Comets every chance they get, especially at the feeder.
How do we best rehab them and/or teach them to lay the eggs in the nesters instead of the dirt as they are doing?
Also, they don't know how to go up the ramp to the coop at night. We have been carrying up there.
They are very skittish and unapproachable. Can they re-learn behavior? Can they calm down? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
We thought we did the right thing, but our Golden Comet girls are suffering because of it. They are so friendly and sweet compared to the nervous leghorns.


8 Years
Usually you want to quarantine new birds from your flock for at least 2-weeks although many go 30 days. The best way to introduce the new birds is to use this time to your advantage and have your coop divided where they can see each other but not touch (or even breathe) on each other. They learn that the coop is home, get a chance to see other birds are present and get acquainted, and you get to make sure they are not going to give your flock a nasty bug....all at the same time. When they get together after this, there will still be a reestablishment of the pecking order but it will not be as severe. It is not an easy thing to take an egg layer from a cage and tame them to a normal backyard flock. It will take some time. Try to give them as much room as possible, let them free range everyday that you can. Slowly but surely they will start to accept each other. If no body gets sick over the next couple weeks, your going to need to at least get everyone wormed and treated for mites and lice. Many would say separate them now...but its probably too late anyway. May as well leave them together and hope for the best.

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