How do you introduce new chooks to an old flock?

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15 years 6 months ago #14993 by Southland Sue
I have just purchased six one year old caged hens to add to my six hens and a rooster. The hens are brown shavers and last year when I tried to introduce 2 banties, the old bags killed one and I had to give the other back. I have segregated the hen house at this stage and have noticed them attacking each other through the netting. My old hens are free-range in the afternoons and I will eventually let the new hens out as well, but I don't want any more massacres! Any ideas will be greatfully recieved, thankyou.

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15 years 6 months ago #228917 by eelcat
welcome to the site SS. I have introduced two new small flocks to my original girls and not had difficulty either way I did it. The first time I introduced new hens I did it at night once the others were asleep. The second lot I kept in a cage during the first day in the run with others for a while, then I let the orginals out into the orchard and then let the newbies into the run. That night I let all back into the run and they all slept together. I then fed them togehter. For the next few days I kept the new girls in the run during the day with the others out. Mine were all the same size so there was I think, less likelihood of picking on smaller ones

1 Border collie, 1 Huntaway, 2 Lhasa Apsos, Suffolk and arapawa ewe crosses, an Arapawa ram,an East Friesian ewe , 5 cats, 42 ducks , 1 rooster and 30 hens, 5 geese, 12 goats, 2 donkeys, 2 house cows, one heifer calf, one bull calf, 3 rabbits and lots and lots and lots of fruit trees...

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15 years 6 months ago #229226 by Ferngreen
They find their own pecking order, so to speak. I think if you just introduce them slowly without a great deal of fuss. Just be ready to intervene if needed.

Life is not waiting for the storm to pass, but learning to dance in the rain. author unknown.

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15 years 5 months ago #230761 by celt
I'm with eelcat. I introduced two big mamma wyandottes to some very fiesty bantams that I inherited with the place. I put the wyandottes into a little run next door to the bantams so they could get used to each other without chance of argy bargy. Did this for about 3 days and then let them in together and all was well. A few handbags at dawn moments but no more than usual. I always do this when introducing new birds and it has always worked well. I think the key is to see each other at close quarters ie. through mesh, without chance of harmful contact. Hope helps.

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