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Author Topic: Introducing chickens to each other...how?  (Read 1102 times)

Offline AliciaH

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Introducing chickens to each other...how?
« on: June 19, 2014, 02:32:05 pm »
We have one older hen left, after the rest were wiped out by skunks last year.  This year, we purchased 25 chicks and are building a new, improved chicken coop (with a run having better security).  Right now, the older hen is locked in the older coop.  The youngsters are in the horse stall (much to the shame of my horse).

When it's all ready, I'm going to need to put everyone together but am not sure how to do that so no one gets hurt.  I've never had to combine chickens before as we've always raised them in groups.  Suggestions?

Offline kathyp

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Re: Introducing chickens to each other...how?
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2014, 07:20:19 pm »
i had to put my 8 young ones in with the two older hens i had left.  i put the babies in a big cage and put the cage in the coop over night. next morning i turned them all out and they were ok. the older ones were a bit bossy, but no blood was drawn and only a couple of feathers pulled  :-)
They are so divorced from their own interests that even when their own security and that of their children is finally compromised, they do not seek to avert the danger themselves but cross their arms and wait for the nation as a whole to come to their aid. Yet as utterly as they sacrifice their own free will, they are no fonder of obedience than anyone else. They submit, it is true, to the whims of a clerk, but no sooner is force removed than they are glad to defy the law as a defeated enemy. Thus one finds them ever wavering between servitude and license.
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Offline AliciaH

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Re: Introducing chickens to each other...how?
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2014, 11:16:47 pm »
Thanks, Kathy, that's sort of how I'm hoping it will go.  You think it will work the same it I put the hen in the kennel in the coop overnight and leave the teenagers loose, then let her go the next day?

Offline kathyp

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Re: Introducing chickens to each other...how?
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2014, 11:18:58 pm »
probably.  the only reason i did it the way i did was that i had to move the young ones anyway.  they were already in the cage...
They are so divorced from their own interests that even when their own security and that of their children is finally compromised, they do not seek to avert the danger themselves but cross their arms and wait for the nation as a whole to come to their aid. Yet as utterly as they sacrifice their own free will, they are no fonder of obedience than anyone else. They submit, it is true, to the whims of a clerk, but no sooner is force removed than they are glad to defy the law as a defeated enemy. Thus one finds them ever wavering between servitude and license.
Alexis de Tocqueville

Offline kathyp

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Re: Introducing chickens to each other...how?
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2014, 11:19:45 pm »
and BTW, i am no chicken expert.  that just seemed like the logical way to do it for me.
They are so divorced from their own interests that even when their own security and that of their children is finally compromised, they do not seek to avert the danger themselves but cross their arms and wait for the nation as a whole to come to their aid. Yet as utterly as they sacrifice their own free will, they are no fonder of obedience than anyone else. They submit, it is true, to the whims of a clerk, but no sooner is force removed than they are glad to defy the law as a defeated enemy. Thus one finds them ever wavering between servitude and license.
Alexis de Tocqueville

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Introducing chickens to each other...how?
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2014, 11:29:27 pm »
One older and the rest younger will get along fine.  If you wait until the younger ones are full grown it will be much more difficult...
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Offline LaurieBee

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Re:
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2014, 01:46:12 am »
The young ones shouldn't have any skin showing or the older ones will peck at any bare skin. If you only have one older hen there shouldn't be too much trouble. If you have several older introduce slower in cages or enclosures side be side. There is a "pecking order".

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Online sawdstmakr

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Re: Introducing chickens to each other...how?
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2014, 05:41:32 am »
Just this year we had 2 new geese that were raised in a coup with 25 older chickens. They were fine until the male started to get aggressive. Found 2 dead chickens and did not know the cause until we saw the male biting and pinning down a chicken.
We immediately pulled all of the younger chickens out of our other hen house and put them in with these chickens and put the geese in the other hen house.
There was a lot of fighting the first night but the next day you would think they had lived together forever.
One good result of combining them, originally, the older hens were very skiddish when we walked in the hen house and the young ones were very friendly, after a few weeks, none of them are skiddish any more.
By the way, about 2 weeks later the female goose started laying.eggs. That is why the the male became aggressive.
Jim

Offline AliciaH

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Re: Introducing chickens to each other...how?
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2014, 12:39:07 pm »
Thank you for the suggestions, everyone!

I have noticed that the youngsters are old enough now that they are starting to establishing their own order.  It's taking longer to get the new coop finished so am thinking I will go ahead and move the old hen into the stall with the kids.  I don't want them ganging up on her. 

Thanks, again!