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Jane and Martin

Extra advice re introducing new hens please

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I've followed all the advice re introducing new chickens having recently bought 2 cream legbars. I kept them separate from the Omlet hens for a week allowing them to roost together at night and this has been fine. Then let them together in the garden. Essentilly they are fine, the newbies are a little nervous and tend to keep their distance and there have been a couple of pecks and chases but only when they have got very close to each other. The Omlet hens do not seem to have gone looking for them for a fight. :twisted: My problem is that they have not been together for any time in the Eglu run and I need them to be happy together in there for when they go on their holidays in just over a week. Will the fact that they have been reasonably OK in the garden mean they should be OK in the Eglu or have I just delayed the inevitable and not allowed the pecking order to be properly established :?:

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To be honest I'm not sure Jane :? I think that having gradually acclimatised them to each other the way you have done is brilliant and they should be much more accepting of each other by now, which I'd suggest is likely to reduce the trauma of establishing the pecking order, but nonetheless they will have to go through working out who's top chook and so on. I think I'd be inclined to gradually keep them in the run together for longer each day this week, so that they can get used to each other in closer proximity before you go on holiday, as a chicken-sitter may be upset by any fighting that he/she witnesses, and also may not be as confident as you at handling them and checking for injuries etc.

That said each time I introduced my newbies I did much the same as you and I was incredibly lucky that each time they assimilated the new ones into the group without too much hassle.

I hope they all settle down together well.

And that you get loads of lovely blue eggs :wink::D:D

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I have just introduced Hunney and Darling to an established pair, and I must admit - I just put them in the big run with Belle and Yoda from day 1 - there was a little bit of pecking for the first couple of days, but things settled down really quickly. Perhaps you should leave all 4 in the run for a morning, or at some point when you can supervise, and see how they all get on together.

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Incidentally, the worst of the pecking over the last couple of days in my run has been Darling pecking Hunney, her supposed friend. We started squirting Darling with the hose everytime she started eyeing up Hunneys back, and seened to put a stop to it within about an hour.


If you have any problems, it could be worth a try.

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I did try that Mel, but for some reason shouting 'Leave her alone Darling' sent the next door neighbour into fits of giggles and had little effect on Darling who threw a deafie!



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Our four newly charged ex battery hens have been free ranging in the large pen and then in our garden together with all the others for some time now.

There is the occassional peck, but mostly its ok.


Last night we were so engrossed in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (mmmm.... chocolate...........mmmmmmmmmm.........Johnny Depp...)


oops :oops:

sorry :oops:

where was I :?

oh yes :roll:


last night we forgot to shepherd the new newbies into their eglu and found 4 new newbies, one old newbie and one oldie in the same elgu - they all seemed pretty cosy!!

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Jane & Martin,


Sorry, only saw your posting after just leaving mine on the same subject, as follows;

I know there's a "sticky" on this but it seems to diarise Buffie's experience of introducing a new chook to an existing two...I tried to read all 11 pages but wondered if anyone else out there has had some experience of this.


We've just introduced a Maran to our two Omlet hybrids. The breeder was straight with us and said that despite their friendly nature towards humans, the hybrids can vicious bullies towards other chickens. He did point out that this was natural and would last for only a matter of days. He said that the Maran, being a fairly large breed (at 20 weeks old she is bigger than our 18 month old hybrids) is robust enough to stand this treatment - the Maran's passive nature also means she'll not fight back and will accept her place in the pecking order.


Anyway, the advice we had was to let them get on with it and not intervene too much unless it got bloody or the new one was being deprived of food and water. They roost peacefully together in the Eglu at night but the days are difficult (now day 2). LaVern and Mabel (hybrids), now re-named the Kray Twins, are behaving like a pair of gangsters, jumping on Bessie (Maran) whenever she ventures out of the Eglu. They've not hurt her yet and it looks and sounds worse than it probably is. This morning I sprayed her feathers with anti-peck spray and we've got Stockholm Tar and vet's wound powder on stand-by for any nasty wounds.


I guess what I'm looking for is some reassurance that my hoodlum hybrids will calm down in a day or two and that the three will get on. We don't have the luxury of a big run and separate hen-house - we have a MK2 Eglu with the run extension.


Can anyone out there empathise with what we're doing and going through and did it work out OK for you in the end?

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