How to successfully integrate 2 chickens into existing flock? : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

We currently have a flock of 6 Plymouth Barred Rocks (1 male/5 hens) and 8 Buff Orpington hens and also have 2 Black Austerlorps (or Aracanas, I can't remember), a rooster and a hen, that we have been trying to integrate into the flock unsuccessfully for awhile now. We have tried putting them out to range with the flock, but the Barred Rocks & Orpingtons chase and severely pick on the Black hen to a point where she is really ostrasized from the group. All the Black rooster does is chase the orpington hens around and stress them out terribly.

We have also tried putting them in the main coop at night, to no avail. There is just endless bickering and we have come to the conclusion that the two males just cannot reside together. So, we have decided to cull the Black rooster but want to keep the Black hen, as she is a good layer. Anyone have any advice about how to successfully integrate her into the flock?

-- Lisa (, September 30, 2001


It's next to impossible to add a rooster(where there is one) without a fight. I would have suggested putting the newcomers on the roost at night, but since you have already tried that, is there a way you can have her/them in an adjacent area where they can get used to each other for however long it takes through the fence?

-- mary (, September 30, 2001.

We currently have them in a small coop (used for new moms and their babies) which is right next to the pen of the larger coop. They all see each other daily and have for about 2 months or so now. For some reason, the larger flock STILL will not accept even the Black hen.

-- Lisa (, September 30, 2001.

Put your one hen from the larger flock that is about the same size and disposition as the black hen in with her and let them settle their differences and become buddies over a period of a couple or three weeks. Then put them both back in with the larger flock at night. I find that when the flock's attentions are divided, they don't beat on one animal so much. No matter what you do, there will be some bickering. As long as it's not health-threatening and doesn't reduce your egg production too much you should be fine. By nature they have to establish their pecking order!

-- Sheryl in ME (, September 30, 2001.

I have an abundance of roosters that free range during the day with the hens and roost with them at night in the pens. Every introduction I've made with new roos and hens has been successful. -patting myself on the back! LOL-

My pens are wire. I pen the new birds in a separate pen for 3 weeks. I keep the hoppers filled with feed. (Important!) The old flock while free ranging can see the 'prisoners' and vice versa. At the end of the 3 weeks, I open the gate of the 'prisoners.' This also trains the birds to return to the pens at dusk, on their own, to roost. The new and old flock will either mingle or go about in different directions, but they'll all roost together in the pens, even the first night. I've never had a problem doing things this way.

-- ~Rogo (, October 01, 2001.

This might sound strange, but it worked for me and it will also stop chickens from pecking each other. An old-timer told me to give them hunks of styrofoam (don't crumble it). I asked two vets if it would hurt them and they both said it would pass. My chickens were killing each other and I was desperate, so I tried it, even though it went against everything I believed in. It didn't seem to hurt them and they are fat and healthy.

-- Gayle Smith (, October 01, 2001.

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