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Integrating New Hens Diary

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I thought I would write this experience which might help others. To be clear for future readers; I have 3 hybrids, (The Pobs), in a 10.5ft X 7ft run. They are almost 2 and a 1/2 years old. The Littleacre coop holds 5 large fowl. My friend needed to rehome her 2 hybrids; one 3yrs old and one 1.5yrs old.


I wish my run were bigger but it's currently not. They will get supervised free range every day except if I have an appointment or the weather is very inclement.


I picked them up last night and they were put in the coop after dark. They are not used to a coop and I had to guide them out of the pop hole.


My girls were on the ready immediately. Pixie set two with Kerry, both Bluebells. Pix won the bout and Kerry looked shocked. She gave as good as she got though.


Lily, who currently has and will probably constantly require a bumpa bit, and placid Winnie set on the even more placid Trixie. She will be a cuddler. She hid under the next box. OH is bringing home a board if he can find one to use as a hiding place.


I threw down some mealworm to try to quell the fighting. It did. Kerry joined the rest in hoovering them up. Trixie was still under the nest box.


The bad weather should ease off in a while and I will let them out whilst I clean and see how that works.


I just want to sit in with them and stop any fighting. I know I have to let them sort the pecking order though.


Will finish my breakfast and go and see what is happening and try to get some pics.

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Although early days, it sounds like it has gone well so far :D

I'm sure the new ones will soon find their way out of the pop hole.

I think as long as you are around to stop any major fights the pecking order will soon be sorted.

One thing that helps is the shorter amount of daylight for them to be bossing each other in.


Looking forward to the pictures :D

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Well I let them out with the others late yesterday. Bit of a mistake. I couldn't get them back in as they didn't seem to know where to go. Waited til dark and they tried roosting on the garden table, so I grabbed them and got them in the run. However, the pop hole is still a mystery to them so they got shoved through that.


When I opened them up this morning Trixie was on the perch with my 3 and Kerry was in the nesting box. They didn't want to wake up so I left them. This was about 7.30am. Around 9.30am they must have emerged as there was squabbling. My friend often didn't get down the garden to feed them til 9 or 10 or later sometimes. So early mornings must be a bit of a shock!


I think I am going to only let out my girls til they get the idea of going in the coop to sleep, a bit like you do with POL's when they first come home. They don't have a clue about using a pop hole and are going to have to be re taught I think.


Nothing further today. We shall see what the rest of the day brings. I can't remember how to load up pics. I will take a look later.

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it'll take them at a week or 2 to get used to their new home just the same as POL's do that'll go for the pop hole as well

it's the same when I move the girls about from one coop to another they still want to go back to their old home they do understand the pop hole through. the boys through always seem to accept a move straight away

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Yes that's right sjp.


Tonight they were in the run but again not clued up. I went out to lock them up and found them in the corner. I decided to pick Trixie up and put her on the ramp, which she slowly climbed and went into. Kerry managed to get in by herself. She is the one showing more interest in wanting to join the others.


However, Kerry laid on the floor of the coop under the others bums, to sleep. I promptly popped her on the perch. Then Trixie went to go to sleep in the nest box and she was turfed out. I know they used to sleep in a plastic dog kennel in a small secure run. This was up on a stand, so they look to go up to roost and not into the coop.


Anyway, after Pixie fell off her perch and made a big fuss about getting on again, they all just snuggled down and not a peep.


Earlier today I took a cauliflower in and popped it in the hay bale string bag that horses use. My girls had a good play with that. At bedtime, Kerry was investigating it but Trixie didn't.


I also gave them some kale from the veg garden. My girls love it, the newbies took ages to even attempt to eat it. But they did.


What upsets me more is they look so scared. They watch the other 3 eating and playing and it seems Kerry desperately wants to join in. But she did front up to Pixie yesterday and seems not to be the one they want to tell off. Trixie just screams if they come near her at the moment. My lovely Winnie had a pop so I grabbed her up, mid peck and told her off. That took some wind out of her sails.


Some may remember when my friend and I went to get Trixie. She is the one that I complained had had her beak trimmed, (they all had at this place), and they assured my friend it would grow back and it didn't. She also has one toe that looks broken and twisted back. She is not limping or favouring it so I hope it's an old injury. I don't want to ask my friend as it would floor her if she had been hurt. The toe is not swollen or red or anything.


Well day 2 ends and hopefully we will continue to move forward, however slowly.

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they'll get used to the new found once they realize it's food

You might have to accept that Trixie is always going to be the outsider and the bottom of the pecking order I've got one like that she screams when any of the others get close to her comfort zone or if she walks to close to one of the others she will hang out with the rest of her group but only on the fringe of the group, they all tolerate her and other than the little peck if she tries to eat before her turn no nasty to her she just Squeaker (she sounds like a squeaky toy) a little bit loopy

the top part of a beak won't grow back it's a requirement for commercial flocks mainly caged and barn hens which I think is done at the hatchery

broken toes happen she could have done it jumping on or off a perch or how one of mine did it by getting under foot and I accidentally stood on it

after two days that's not bad you might find through that it;ll stay peaceful for about a month then once the new girl have grow in confidence they start to take liberties that the existing girls object to or they start to think they should be higher in the pecking order

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