Jump to content
sophie and ben

mixing new chickens with old ones

Recommended Posts

Hi there i was after some advice,i read that adding new chickens with old wasn't a problem but i'v just added a 6 week one with our 2 23 week old ones and they are chaseing it around our eglu pecking it causeing lack of feeding and hydrateing i'v now resorted to bringing the 6 week chicken inside to stop the barbaric pecking and was wondering if i can still introduce it with the others and how do i go about it.thankyou ben and sophiexxxx. :?:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The first time I introduced any new girls I tried at 7 weeks (the breeder said it would be OK!) and it just didn't work - it was a real disaster. I waited until around 14 weeks. then it only took a while for it to sort out the problems, and the new girls, as feemq says, are OK to run around by themselves and keep out of the way of the bullying (to a degree - there's always some, but it's usually pretty minor scirmishing).


Its great if they can be introduced as a pair - I haven't always been able to do that, but if you can they form a little self help group and the two of them stick together.


I think, if you can, I would sort out some separate temporary accomodation until they are 3 to 4 months old. Let them see each other and eyeball each other through a wire partition if possible.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We had trouble when we introduced two but they were able to stick together, I personaly thinks that one would get bullied.


Do you free range them a lot if so the new girl will have a chance to stay out of their way. I f not try putting a temporary run along side the eglu run so that they can see their new 'friend' but no get at her, and after the original two are in bed pop the new one in with them through the egg port. You will probably have to rescue her first thing and seperate them during the day for a week or so.


We divided the eglu run at first with canes stuck through in both directions, this takes some doing because you would be suprised how small a gap a chicken can fit through! We then had to do the seperate run option when one of our new girls was pecked around her vent drawing blood which can bring out the cannibal in any chicken!


Good luck

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know that everyone says to introduce two at a time to help with the bullying & in fact last year the BHWT would not let us take only one BUT


This is the second time that Os and I have introduced two new hens into our eglu and BOTH times one of the newbies has picked on the other newbie.


The first time (last year) this was really distressing as we'd never seen pecking order behaviour before.....June and Audrey got on really well from day 1, with no pecking, fighting or any bullying.


When we introduced Emmy-Lou and Mini, Audrey and June were both quite vicious towards them & Mini would also run after Emmy and give a her a peck. It tok just over 3 weeks to get them all sorted.



This time round June is kind of tolerating the new girls, but Emmy is being a cow and Kirsty (new girl) keeps pecking and eating Alisons feathers. A can of Tuna has lessened the feather eating, but there is still a bit of mild bullying going on between the new girls :(


Last year I bought a run converter from omlet and I've fixed it to the run with the end plate in situ (as it was originally) and I'm using a large panel of board to enclose the new end.. This means I'm able to keep the two new girls in the run and the two older ones separate, should I need to go out. So far they've not slept together, the new girls are sleeping in a large rabit hutch(again separated as they keep fighting!)


It sounds a bit of a nightmare, but actually this time round it does seem to be going a bit smoother.


Next time I'm going to insist on getting only one new chook :evil:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

we originally had a pair and one died. We then introduced 3 new girls to our lone chicken. A maran who was 20 weeks - and apart from a bit of bossy pecking from Ella (original chook) they both got used to each other really quickly and slept together.


We also bought 2 13 week old cochins,....this was a different story altogether - Ella was a complete horror to them and was violent towards them - so we bought another eglu and the 2 cochins sleep seperate to the big girls.


Freeranging - at 1st with supervision until the big girls got used to the little ones and vice versa. But after 2 weeks they all freerange happily without supervision :) as the little ones have learnt to run away if Ella comes near. They still sleep seperate though as I feel the eglu run isnt big enough for the little chickens to run away in if Ella gets naughty!!


Give it time and patience and keep an eye on them and it all will sort itself out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am looking to get a third chicken (I don't have room for four) and I don't have any spare accomodation so it will be straight into the eglu with the others... does anyone have any advice or should i abandon the plan?


I used an old dog box - and then built a little coop out of plywood. It might be worth thinking if you do have anything around that might do - pop a cardboard box inside an old crate or something like that. It only needs to be weatherproof and can do as temporary quarters - remember that they are wearing double duvets so don't worry too much about the cold at the moment (although I'm not suggesting that they should live outdoors!).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How surprised was I? Went abroad for two weeks recently and took our three girls + eglu/run etc. to local boarding kennels. They were to be kept in a small area next to the stables which was being fenced off with chicken wire so they could come out. 12 rescue hens had moved in the day before in a separate area.


Left instructions about not letting them out for a few days until they got used to their new surroundings, stories about bullying/fighting etc. and left for hols slightly worried they may not be there when we got back due to doing a runner across the fields/foxes.


On my return from hols went to pick them up and as I walked down the yard one of the girls (Dora) walked past me in the opposite direction!!!! It seems they had the free run of the place - house, garden, sheds, cattering, kennels and imagine my surprise to go round the corner and find all three of mine happily mingling with the 12 other rescued battery hens which had arrived the day after them!!!!


They were all in and out of the eglu, sharing food, drink, nesting boxes in the stables etc. No escape committees, no fighting, nothing - just mates. They are definitely going back there for another visit, but this time I won't bother carting all the equipment with me - just the pod itself. I couldn't stop chuckling to myself all the way home - JUST GOES TO SHOW.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I started out with a Gingernut and a Pepperpot in July this year, before any of them layed an egg I introduced Mavis and Moira. They were only 9 and 10 weeks old at the time and Marilyn(Bossy B**ger) gave them both a hard time, Maude did as well but not as much as THE GINGA. Now, 11 weeks later the 2 younger ones still get the odd peck but they have settled down, the run they are in is about 5M x 3M so they have room to escape.


Last week when I was at home I put my 8 week old chicks outside in a separate run but within the big main run. The chicks love it and although they only ever knew sleeping in their run inside the shed they put themselves to bed in the (temporary)rabbit hutch as soon as it got dark. The thing I noticed was that the Omlet girls haven't taken much notice of the chicks, but the 2 that were being bullied are now trying to bully the babies.


It's going to be fun and games when I have to put them all together as the chicks will soon be too big for the hutch. I'll have to sit all day with the water pistol aimed at the baddies :lol:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...