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New Chucks - Any help please!!!!!!!!!!!

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Hi I have been reading all the threads by people trying to introduce new chucks to existing chucks with great interest. We had three chickens originally, all three lived together for 14 months and then just before new years eve, Bhundi was found dead on the nest one morning, it was a real shock as she had been perfectly alright the day before. Anyway, after much discussion, it was decided that it would be a good idea(!) to introduce two chickens, rather than one to the two older chickens. On Saturday, we went to Garden Poultry in Kingsley and bought 2 of the loveliest speckledys you have ever seen, only 16 weeks old. Well, it was going dusk when we got home and we quitely put the 2 newbies in through the Eglu Port door as the two older chickens were roosting already. That seemed to be a success as we stayed and listened for quite some time and all was quiet. The following morning we let them all out into the netted area, well....... Bhuna the quietest, most submissive of the three original hens, launched herself at the two new hens like a demon possessed and chased them all over the place. The two newbies sqarked and ran, all over, she managed to corner them both and set too pecking, the poor young chicks, squarked and sqarked, we had to wade in and separate them and but the newbies in the eglu run, where they disappeared in to the eglu for about an hour, before venturing out very slowly, and quitetly, whereabouts they started to eat and drink. Later on in the day we tried again, letting them out into the netted area with the older chickens, Tikka, ignored them, but Bhuna, upon seeing them started on them again. However, at night, they all settled in the eglu and slept peacefully together.


The following day, being a Monday, we let them out first thing into the run, the two new hens stayed in the eglu and the two older ones came out and started eating and pecking around. But every 5 minutes, Bhuna would go back into the eglu and attack the two young ones, then come out eat abit more and go back in again and peck at them again, the screams coming from the eglu where bloodcurdling. So we separated the two older ones in to an old free standing run we have and left the young ones in the eglu, where eventually they came out and slowly started to eat and drink. But the evening routine was the same, they all sleep peacefully together. Today was just the same as yesterday, and we had to do exactly the same thing again with the older hens. As OH and I both work, this is probably going to be the routine for the rest of the week, until weekend, when we will let them all out into the garden (larger area) and watch the behaviour of Bhuna with the new ones.


OH is begining to thing, maybe we did the wrong thing getting the two new ones,as they are being cruelly bullied. But of the two existing hens, Tikka and Bhuna, we are most shocked that it is Bhuna, who is proving to be the most spiteful. She was always the last in the pecking order of the previous threesome and the slowest when treats where out. So her behaviour to these new two, is really distressing.


The two new hens are so adorable and beautiful, with their soooo soft, blue and grey plumage, they really are getting a bad time of it at the moment, I really dont think that they could be more submissive, if they tried. They are trying to hide under each other. Bless the poor little things.


Any words of hope, would be greatly appreciated.


Like I mentioned at the beginning, I have been reading other peoples threads on this subject, and feel quite depressed to read of quite a few of you have given up on the integration process. Please, tell me that there is light at the end of the tunnel. I do appreciate that we are only on day 4 of this adventure, but it really feels like week 4. I have already been late for work twice and I cannt see this changing much over the next, however, many days.


jomax :cry:


(orange eglu)GNR Tikka PP Bhuna (Bluebelle) Korma (Bluebelle) Keema


PP Bhundi R.I.P

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Please don't give up! Mine were very similar, attacking each other during the day and quiet as mice at night. I kept seperating mine at first, letting the two weaker chooks stay in the eglu and run, out of reach of the others, but not out of sight. After 5 days, we let them all free range in the garden and things were definitley better, they went around in pairs at first and glared at each other, but they had plenty of space to escape if needed. Now, all four are inseperable, I can't believe it's the same birds! It does take a week or so though! Sounds like you're doing all the right things :D

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Stick with it - I've done it several times now, and the hardest was definately when I introduced 2 really young hens. It is really distressing to see older, much loved girls turn into pecking monsters, but it's just 'chicken nature'. They are establishing their new pecking order, and Bhuna especially, will be ensuring herself a higher position in the pecking order.


When I introduced 2 young hens (they were about 15 weeks - so teeny, and soooooo gorgeous!), I found that they only ventured out of the eglu when the established pair were in the garden, so they could get out and have a scratch about and a feed in peace. I remember feeling awful that I had subjected the poor things to such terrible bullying at the time, and was close to returning them. However, the breeder suggested I stuck at it, and that I would find things would get easier once they were all allowed to freerange together. Once they were all out in the garden together, we found that the younger hens actually followed the older two about (at a distance!), and within a couple of days things settled right down. At night, we discovered that Belle (head chook) quickly realised that she was the 'mum', and she used to sit on the babies at night during the colder months, I assume to keep them warm!


Please persevere - it is ABSOLUTELY worth it, and you've done the right thing by getting two.

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I was wondering if the new chickens are actually being injured? If they are just given the odd peck and running off sqwarking it's fine. It probably looks worse than it is and is normal chicken behaviour. You can buy bumper bits for their beaks if they are pulling out a lot of feathers.

Bhuna will be trying to maintain her position as 3rd hen, Katy went crazy as bottom hen, while Trinny is quite nonchalent most of the time. Katy would peck out 2-3 feathers then spit them out and guard the eglu at night so the new ones wouldn't go in.


I have just been letting them loose in our big pen where they can generally stay out of the way. I felt so sorry for Megan as she was quite timid, younger looking and wouldn't emerge from the eglu until I appeared. She tried flying off once or twice so I ended up shutting her and/or Abbie together in the omlet run sometimes. It's week 2-3 and she's started pecking round the ground like a normal chicken and stuffing her face with food which is encouraging.

It probably takes about 3 weeks, so stick with it. Sometimes if you separate it can actually drag the process out longer.

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Hi there, I've been through this too. I introduced 2 new girls to my original 3 and it was Belle (second in the pecking order) who was the most viscious. I think Beauty was confident she wouldn't lose her top position but Belle had something to prove. I took the advice from this forum and let them get on with it, and at times when i felt it was getting too severe I isolated Belle (the attacker) for a couple of hours to let the new girls eat and drink in peace. As has already been mentioned, 3 weeks seems to be the magic number - the first week is horrible, the second week a bit better and during the 3rd week things seem to settle down. Stick with it - its worth it when you eventually see them all feeding and preening together.

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Hi Jomax, I'm sorry that you're having such a stressful time with the integration of the news chickens, and they sound so sweet too, poor things :( . But it is totally normally chickeny behaviour, and as the others have said it's often one of the ones lower down the pecking order who is most aggressive, fiercely defending her position. The top hen is generally more relaxed about her status, and doesn't need to assert her authority to quite the same extent.

You've had some great responses from the others, and I've nothing to add, except do hang on in there, it does get easier with time. I've been through it a few times now, and it's always distressing to watch, but they do settle down slowly but surely. Just make sure that the babies have access to food and water and that the bullies aren't stopping them from getting to that, and separate them if anyone's actually getting hurt, but often it looks worse than it really is. That said sometimes the bullying hen really can inflict injury, so do check them. I'm sure that you're doing that though, so a bit of a silly comment there :oops::oops: . Sorry.

Good luck with it. It'll all be worth it when you see them all cosying up together in a few weeks :D:D

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A big thank you to everybody, for your encouraging advice. News todate, is as follows.


Let the hens out into the run this morning after a quiet evening (night time is not a problem). The two young ones stayed in the eglu, the two older ones were straight out. So as we had to go to work, we placed the older two into the older ark shaped run that we have, with food and water. And once in that, the young ones came out and started eating and drinking. My son was home today, as hes got a bad head cold, he had instructions to keep a watch out on the hens, and move the ark run onto a fresh patch of grass (as the grass isnt growing at the moment, I have bald patches of garden, where the run has sat). When OH and I got in this evening, Nathan said the the two young ones had been the most noisy all day! Did the usual and shone the torch to show the way into the eglu and the older two quietly followed the light, back into the eglu run and made their way into the eglu, once the door was shut I opened the eglu port to check that everything was ok. The older two were stood over the young ones, but I closed the port and waited, all that could be heard was the scuffling sounds of the hens settling on the bars to roost.


So....... its going to be the same routine tomorrow as well, but on Friday, I have the afternoon of, as the gas man is coming to service the central heating (dont you just hate, having to take a half day off work, just to wait in for the gas/electric man!!) So, as soon as I get in, around 1pm ish, I'm going to let all the girls out in to the garden to free range, and see how they get on, the plan is the same for Saturday and Sunday, so I'll let you all know how we get on.


Thanks again for your support and encouragement.



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