Unsure what to do after bad introduction help!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by rachelwright, Jan 31, 2017.

  1. rachelwright

    rachelwright Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 24, 2014
    Decatur, GA
    [​IMG]Hey y'all I need some advice. I introduced 2 chickens overnight to my established flock of 5. Overnight things were fine, this morning the 2 new gals (17 weeks) were too scared to come out. They've come out a little and the other hens jump on to them immediately. One was quick enough to get away and the other just ducked into a corner and let them attack. Now she's bleeding just a little right above her beak (probably a self inflicted wound). So should I pull the new girls out and try again later? Should I just sit out here all day and keep an eye on them? I'm off today, but they'd be on their own tomorrow. Please help!
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2017
  2. Folly's place

    Folly's place True BYC Addict

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    It's much safer to have new birds in a separate pen in the coop/ run with the existing flock for a week or longer, before letting the birds mingle. Then try letting them free range together, if you can do that, or try the midnight approach. Mary
    1 person likes this.
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I don’t know how much room you have in the coop or outside, so I can’t give specific advice, but Mary nailed it. Set up a separate area where the new chickens can be housed for a while in sight of the others but separated so they can’t get to each other. That might be a pen in the coop if you have room, maybe something cheap like chicken wire since predator protection should not be an issue, or a dog crate or something like that with its own run outside. Let them get used to each other, then try it again.

    With those ages, don’t expect the new girls to immediately start hanging with the older ones. Until the new ones mature enough to force their way into the pecking order, they will probably want to avoid the older hens. That’s perfectly normal behavior, the older hens outrank them in the pecking order because of maturity and sometimes aren’t shy about enforcing that especially when the younger invade their personal space. That mingling will come with time, usually around the time the younger start laying. At least that’s the way it works with mine.

    What you are after right now is that the older stop going out of their way to attack the new ones. That’s a successful integration. Them merging into one flock comes later.
    1 person likes this.
  4. rachelwright

    rachelwright Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 24, 2014
    Decatur, GA
    I didn't expect fast friends, but I did expect the younger girls to at least run away or try to protect themselves. Thanks for your responses and advice! I have them in a big dog crate next to the run, and will leave them there for several days until I try again.
  5. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

    Apr 17, 2015
    Long Beach, WA
    How big is your coop and run? Smooth integrations need lots of space. Chickens are extremely territorial creatures.
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Ditto Dat^^^ lots of space...and multiple feed/water stations help too.
    A well as places to hide 'out of line of sight'(but not dead end traps) and/or up and away from aggressors.
    Ducking into a corner to protect her head might be the only option she felt she had.
    Even after adjacent but separate isolation, these things will be important for a smoother or at least less bloody integration.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by