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introducing new chooks

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Feeling very very stressed today!! My hubby's uncle is selling his house and so has had to get rid of all the animals he kept. My hubby and I have taken in a couple of his bantam hens and a cockerel - (didn't expect the cockerel but turns out they are a little gang of three who are used to ranging around together - the 6 am alarm call is taking some getting used to!!) We already have 2 gingernut girlies and had been thinking about getting a couple more chooks.


For the last week we have kept the new chooks in a seperate house and run, and let our original girls out of their eglu to range around them. They've been eyeing each other up all week - with Hedwig and Hermione sitting on top of the new chooks run most days!


Today we have started the introductions and opened the run door to let the newbies out to range with the oldies - and oh my goodness it has been such a stressy day!! First of all Hedwig (super nosey!) got a shock when she strolled on into the new girls run and Henry the cockerel went a bit mental!


The cockerel is such a bully he keeps chasing our original girls.

We've had one escape already from the smallest new girl who actually fit through the omlet fencing (we had spent an age making sure the fencing was high enough - didn't consider she could walk through it :roll: )


I'm just really worried about the whole situation - I feel bad for causing Hedwig and Hermione stress, but at the same time we wanted to let the new girls and Henry out after a week cooped up.


There's not too much s"Ooops, word censored!"ping I suppose - just a LOT of chasing and squawking. I guess I'm just worried - am I going about this the right way??? Would I be best to put them in seperate fenced off areas - or should I stick with it trying to keep them all ranging together.


Have been outside wrapped up warm with a flask for the last 3 hours!! Now inside at the computer keeping an eye on them all - very worried about them all!!! Will they all be OK? Have I rushed into putting them together too quickly???


There's a black and white cat eyeing up the little bantams as well which is worrying me. Could a cat catch a bantam?


Not sure what is going to happen at bedtime - will be interested to see who goes to sleep where!!!


Sorry - just full of worries today about chickens !!!! x


Will try and attach a picture of our newbies!!

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Sorry to hear you're having such a stressful time :( . Sounds like you're doing the right thing though (I've no experience of it I'm afraid). I think I've read here that people sometimes put all the chickens in the same eglu/house at bedtime even though they keep them separate during the day.


I'm sure someone with experience will come along soon :) .

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I think you are doing the right thing Farrowy. If you can bear the stress, just leave them all to it. If not, try increasing the amount of time they spend together each day, and break things up when you've had enough of the bickering! If your original girls can put up with the amorous advances of the cockerel, you might find he will be better able to keep the peace between the hens as he will automatically be top dog!


Your new chooks sound lovely - pictures please! :D

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I'm sure your chickens will settle soon. I've only got bantams but my cockerels are a lot more keen to assert themselves with new faces than the hens. Even so it only seemed to take about a week for things to be calm again. Are they all going to be loose together? If not he might keep trying to reassert his authority all the time!



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I've put my three new girls into the cube for the night with the other four. One of the new brahmas and Ginger went down the ladder, squared up to each other then gave up and went back to bed. That was seriously impressive considering the new brahmas are 6-7 months old and have never seen a cube before.

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