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Colin and Sian

Introducing new chickens...

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Firstly thank you all so much for replying to our message about Purple - our chicken who died unexpectedly yesterday. It was so so helpful to be reassured that these things just happen. You all made a very difficult day easier to cope with.


As you all said she would be Durple is absolutely fine and the people at Omlet have been wonderful - really sympathetic and helpful. We are going to pick up two new friends for Durple this evening!!! :D


So the question is - what is the best way to introduce them to the eglu? Durple is definately the queen of the run and bullied Purple a little (not surprising if she was born fragile). How do we make sure they all settle down happily together? Will it be easier as Durple is still quite young? (Not laying yet)


Many thanks again for all your kind words


Sian and Colin



PS will change signature tomorrow when I can do the sad bit and happy bit at the same time!

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Intros are a bit easier if you have some alternative housing for the newbies to be in for a couple of days - say an old rabbit hutch and run.


There is a sticky somewhere about this....


Here it is http://club.omlet.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2941


I am lucky enough to have a Rablu; I put the newbies in that for a couple of days, so the established chooks can free range round them in the run, while I feed corn treats along the edge of the run so that both parties can get together. It helps when you intergrate them to have plenty of feed and water stations so there's less fighting.


Good luck

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Thank you for that. Have read the sticky which gives lots of ideas (and is a little scary!!). The problem is that we don' have an extra run - could we cobble something together with chicken wire on the side of the eglu we've got? But what if it's not fox proof??! :? The other problem is that by the time we get home with the new arrivals Durple will probably be in bed - should I put them straight in the eglu with her or will waking up next to two strangers tomorrow freak her out (it would me!) or should we leave it til tomorrow to put them in the run in the morning but we can't keep an eye on them as we both work and the run is obviously closed when we're out. We haven't got anywhere to keep them til the weekend when we could introduce them and then watch them all day :think:

Or am I just making a big deal out of nothing and I should just bung them in and let them work it all out?

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You're not making abig deal at all Colin - you just have to work with what you've gto. If you can't blag extra accommodation from someone, then put the chooks in at night when the hens are more dozy and just hope for the best the next day. Set up extra feed and water stations and let them get on with it. The fact that Durple isn't yet mature may help a tad.


Good luck; let us know how you get on

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I introduced 1 new chicken to my 2 girls just over a week ago.I put her in with them at night, put her in a cat box in the morning where she could see them in their run, and once they had laid I let them out and put her in the run. Its 10 days later now and I caught Ginge (big bad bully) and Elle (new girl) sharing the nest this morning whilst Ginge laid her egg. They are fine together and get on in the eglu at night and when they are in their end of the garden. the only time we had problems was when they were all three in the eglu run because I was at work. poor Elle was very p[ecked one day - but she recovered quickly and now just hops out of hte way if Ginge is on the warpath. They do have to sort out a pecking order at some stage, but I was expecting it to be much worse than it was and you are lucky that yours are still young like mine were. Good luck - mine sorted it out in a week so lets hope yours do the same.

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I've done it a couple of times, without the luxury of an extra run. On the first couple of days we let the esatblished chickens out to freerange, and left the newbies in the run. Put feeding dishes and water out for both of them, and put them all in the eglu at night. On about the third day, we kept the established girls in the run for about half an hour - long enough for them to get a peck in, to establish in the newbies minds who was in charge, then sperated them again. Then we let them all out in the garden together - enough room for the new girls to get some peace to scratch about, and to run away if the got a peck. They actually ended up following the esablished girls around all the time, and the integration worked like that.


The last time, however, we just left them in the big run, and left them to it - and it was sorted within 48 hours.


You have to remember that, at the time, it looks horrible and it can get quite vicious, but it settles down fairly quickly normally, and within a few weeks you are back to a contented flock.

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