Tips on adding new chickens to existing flock needed.

HouseMouseHens

Chirping
7 Years
Jul 31, 2012
245
30
91
Portland, Oregon
My Coop
My Coop
Hi all! I have a great flock of 11 hens, all different breeds, that seem to not have any sort of pecking order. We have never had any problems with attacking each other, all are super docile and friendly with us and each other. I have literally never seen a single one of them peck at another chicken.

I picked up two hens today that are a month or so younger than my girls (9 months), a fairly small Ameraucana and a pretty large French Copper Maran. The Ameraucana was pretty picked on in her previous flock (they also had a bunch of roosters, so some of the feather loss is due to them) and is missing some feathers but is otherwise healthy, and the Maran was pretty high up on the pecking order in the flock because she is gorgeous, not missing a single feather, and is acting fairly aggressive towards my sweet hens. They came up to her and she imediately started flapping her wings and pecking at them. Making a terrible racket. I put up our big dog fence and put both the new hens in it (with chicken wire on top after the Ameraucana flew out and over my fence. eeek!) and they are hanging out happily now, and my hens are pretending they don't exist.

I am not sure how to go about getting them all to live peacefully, as I don't have a separate coop/run to put them in. They free range during the day in my fenced backyard and the run is being used as a pen for my ducklings who are too young to be in with them.
Will it get better? What are some tips you might have for integrating them peacefully? Or do I just put them all together and hope my chickens show her who is boss?

I got them free, so I have absolutely no qualms about killing and eating the Maran if she cannot fall in line with my peaceful girls, but if I can make the transition smoothly I would love to have her in my flock. The Ameraucana just runs away when my girls come up to her, and a few of them have pecked at her, which shocked me because they have NEVER done that to each other.

I hope my chickens can learn to be nice to her.. Would love to have olive green eggs in my basket. And she is pretty small so she wouldn't be very good for eating. Haha!
 

pichuris

Chirping
7 Years
May 15, 2012
590
8
93
Strasburg Colorado
Sounds like your 11 hens grew up together so the pecking order is established pretty early on & not much if any fighting is seen. However, when you bring anyone new into the picture the pecking order has to be re-established. I know you said you don't have two areas but that is my best recommendation. Two separate areas where they can have interaction without hurting each other. Gets them use to each other and then after a few weeks integrate them with each other but supervised. Good luck.
 

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