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PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:38 pm 
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We currently have 10 ISA Brown/Hyline crosses of various ages in our run. In the next few months our 6 little Light Sussex will be old enough to join the clan. I've read all the tips on introducing new birds, but was wondering which method would suit better: simply introducing them under supervision, or a gradual introduction separated by the wire? We have the room to have them in a temporary area at the front of the run; I would just need to fence it off, and build them a small temporary coop.
I was also thinking of taking out the top hen at the same time, to mix up the pecking order. Would this help minimise any bullying of the new hens?
Thanks in advance.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 4:46 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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I would put them in and watch the dynamics. If there is an issue, remove the bullies, leave the newbies for a few days to settle in and take ownership, them re introduce the bullies one by one - top dog last. The bullies will re enter into different dynamics in the pecking order.
Provide a couple of extra feed and water stations so there is no competition and give them something to keep everyone busy - eg some biscuits of lucerne to deconstruct, some grain to search for in the resultant mess etc


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2018 5:25 am 
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The best way to introduce new hens is via a separate pen/area within or close to the original pen, put the new ones into it and leave at least 14 days so they get to know each other and smell each other.
Never ever put new girls straight into the pen with the existing flock as hens can be extremely violent and will cause far to much damage, its too cruel.
It is then a case of gently removing the barrier, there might still be a period of challenge between them but not as much.
I have always done it this way with no problems.
I also do not recommend adding them at night into the coop without them knowing each other, as fighting will certainly start when they see each other.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2018 8:50 am 
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Golden Kingfisher
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I find it best to remove the boss bird or any bullies and put the newbies in with the lower ranking birds. Then after a week allow interaction between all in the backyard. If that’s ok then out all together in the original pen. Or remove all existing birds to a different pen, put the newbies in the main pen, then after a week or two return the originals. You’ve got to disrupt the pecking order, as Sue says. Also agree with Bellbelles that it’s very important to be aware of how vicious hens can be - you must monitor carefully and step in if there is any issue.

So, there are a few options to try there.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2018 9:10 am 
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Thanks for all of your replies. It sounds like I was on the right track. Instead of just taking out the top hen, I'll take out the two that I have noticed are the bullies.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 9:29 pm 
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Fiesty Fowl
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isa browns are very nasty so I would keep the new girls apart for at least 4-6 weeks,i always keep my new ones separated for at least that time with no problems whatsoever.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2018 8:30 pm 
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We have extended the run, while leaving the original fence line. The Light Sussex pullets will have the run of the new part, until it's time for introductions. After that, we'll let the older girls into the new part where the pullets are, rather than put them into the older hens' run.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2018 8:50 pm 
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Golden Kingfisher
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Sounds good. Let us know how it goes :)

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 7:29 pm 
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I introduce them when free ranging as gives them plenty of room to avoid conflict, at night place new ones on perch next to old ones, sleeping together seems to help the bonding, open early next morning the coop to allow the new ones to have room in the run, repeat the placing on perch process for a while until they settle in.


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