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Thinking of adding new hens - how?

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Hi, can anyone give me advice on introducing new hens?


Having kept my 3 Omlet hens since July, I am thinking of adding 2 or 3 ex batts to my flock. I am a little nervous about how to do it but the basics seem to be keep them apart for a while then slowly introduce them to each other.


So, having spent a fortune on a cube, what do I house the new hens in? Unfortunately I do not have time to build something, but don't want to spend a fortune either. The cheapest house I have seen is here:



Or what about a dog kennel?:


I thought I could attach it to the run door and divide the run with bamboo sticks (as I have seen so brilliantly done by some other members). But it is still a lot of money. Are there any alternatives?


Also, my pepperpot is pecking the gingernuts whose bottoms are now bald and I don't know why this has started after all this time. Do you think she will be very troublesome with the new hens?


Thanks for your help.

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ive not had any ex-batts myself but from what ive read they have trouble intergrating with an existing flock because they are so weak and bald when they first come out.


whenever ive introduced hens though i let them free range and keep an eye on them all, if one is being a bit mean then the others have a chance to get away.


i think theres a thread on here about intorducing new hens as well.


anyways, hope tahts helpful.

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the Eglu can easily house 5 birds, some say 6 depending on size and as long as you extend the run.


I have just intriduced two new hens and the first two days were a bit of a worry with pecking and feather grabbing - also one wouldn't come outside so i made her a quick alternative coop which she slept in last night. This mornin, I put food and water right next to her Annex so she wouldn't have to come out but could still get food and water.


When i got home, all four were settled in the Eglu, inspite of an alternative being available.


It's not nice to watch, doesn't sound great but they have to do it - it's normal behaviour (although it probably came as a surprise when my wife smacked Kim on the nose for being spiteful - years of having a dog haven't worn off yet :-)

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Thanks everyone. I like the wendy house!


There is plenty of room in my cube and run, but being ex batts I know I will have to keep them separate for a few weeks until they get they are strong enough to hold their own. It's a pain having to spend alot of money on something you won't need for long. But I think I'll have to do it, and I can always use it for a sick hen in the future if necessary.


Is it a bit extreme to use a bumper bit for my pepperpot just yet? I admit the anti peck spray isn't having much effect.

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I though about making a house out of a dog kennel but didn't need to in the end as we found a second hand house and run in the ad trader.


I did find nice dog kennels reduced to half price at our local Pets At Home, i think they were about £45 and quite big.


You could also put a wanted add in the ad trader or freecycle :D

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I am integrating two new hens at present. I have divided the run using Omlet netting so they can see and smell each other but are safe from any inhouse fighting. At night I pop the two newbies in the eglu together and close the door. In the morning I lift them out and put them back in the separate part of the run. Tonight, for the first time, I let them out to free range together an hour before bedtime. It passed without incident and then they all took themselves to bed! I will continue this way for the rest of the week as by that time they'll know each other fairly well. After that they'll all be together, it may be a bit nasty but it doesn't tend to last very long before everyone knows their place.

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I think I am going to house them in my garden shed, which is close to the eglu and currently used to keep my feed, etc. I can't justify getting another hen house. This will just be for the first few weeks, and during the day put them in one half of the cube run with a divider.


I am struggling to find any information on integrating ex batts with existing hens so any words of wisdom would be gratefully received! It looks like I'm going to have to just have a go and see what happens.

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