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Introducing New Chickens

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Hi all

Quite a newbie here - but wanted some advice on potentially introducing new chickens. We had 3 hens, but unfortunately one got attacked by a fox and had to be put down. So we still have the 2 original hens, but wanted to replace the one we lost. Would we be ok introducing 2 new hens in with the exisiting 2? I know 1 is a no go, but would 2 be ok (strength in numbers kind of thing?.

We have an Eglu Go with 3m run, but they free range a bit, so what would be the best way to start introducing them?


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2 with 2 should be fine. Can't remember, but did you have bantams or standard size chickens? A Go with 3 m run will be pushing it for 4 standard sized hens. 

There are 2 main ways of introducing chickens.
1) Add the hens to the coop at night and open the door in the morning and keep a good eye on them for any potential blood shed. Downside is that you can't quarantine any new hens and there is no guarantee that it will work out. I have done this twice with success, but also had to rehome one hen after intro.

2) Slow introduction where you first house the new hens in separate accommodation in sight of each other and do some little visits or free ranging together over some weeks. You get to quarantine the birds first, but also would need some form of housing/run for the new hens. Last intro I did this as my new hens were just too young to introduce. They had their separate bit of run and I used a wooden rabbit hutch for temporary coop.

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Thanks for your reply - i've got standard hens, but they free range most days in the garden so only really in the run at night and mornings. 

Can i just ask, if you put the new hens in with the older ones at night, will they peck / fight in the house? Or do they just leave each other alone?



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Normally they shouldn't and rarely do. But I did have one hen that I had to rehome. She started fighting at night in the house, well after introductions. 
Be prepared for fighting during the day though. Pecking, feather pulling, rearing up to each other and chasing all are normal and to be expected. But there shouldn't be any bloodshed. 

Also be prepared for winter and potential lockdown due to avian Influenza, when your chickens will need to be under cover and there is no free ranging. You still need space enough for all then too.

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