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Adding to the hen house Options
Frosty
#1 Posted : Saturday, March 14, 2009 6:42:39 PM
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Posts: 134,494

Hi Christine!  It's been a long time!

The advantage that you have is that the newbies out number the older hens.  It's not as bad as adding just a few chickens to a flock of 25, where there would be everyone picking on those few.  There are a few ways to do it... you can wait until the new pullets are at least half grown and put them in at night.  Or another method that I have used is to have a temporary pen somewhere else and put them all together there - that way, the new pullets aren't invading the older hens space.  I have also moved half of my hens to a chicken tractor or something for a few days, then add them back when I add new chicks (or a few days later after the chicks are settled in their new home).  The older hens try to reestablish their pecking order and seem to forget the new youngsters.  In your case with your ration of pullets to older hens, I would use the method of putting them in at night and keeping an eye on them for a day or so.  You could try putting them in during the day, but if you do make sure that you put them all in at once.  You never know, sometimes the hens recognize them as babies and go easy on them.  Not often, but I have seen it happen.  If the older hens are too aggressive, you may want to make a chicken tractor or something to keep the pullets in until they get a bit bigger... 

Good luck!

Shirley

        

cwatson
#2 Posted : Saturday, March 14, 2009 11:52:44 PM
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Posts: 134,494

Frosty,

Thank you so much for your help.  The two reds are starting to get really big so I am ready to move them out /WorkArea/threadeddisc/emoticons/happy.png 

 

cwatson
#3 Posted : Thursday, March 19, 2009 11:13:02 PM
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Posts: 134,494

Worked like a charm.  We waited until just after sun down and snuck the pullets into the hen house.  The next morning i checked on them first thing and the old girls could have cared less that there were 4 newbies in the house.  They are still doing just fine 3 days later.  Thanks for the good advice.

Frosty
#4 Posted : Friday, March 20, 2009 5:31:39 AM
Rank: Guest

Posts: 134,494

Thank you for the update, I'm glad it worked out!   

A bit more difficult for me since I usually have 25 - 30 hens out there... then one gets loose and sits on eggs somewhere and shows up with 6 little chicks behind her.  Usually in October or something so I end up with chicks in the basement for the winter (sigh...)  That's why I have to move birds around to get the flock together.   

cwatson
#5 Posted : Friday, March 20, 2009 5:31:39 AM
Rank: Guest

Posts: 134,494

Hi All,

 

I currently have 3 hens in our hen house and have purchased 4 more pullets to add in.  They are getting to the size where they will need to go out soon.  Can anyone recommend the best method of add newbies to the hen house?  I am afraid that they will get pecked to death.  I believe that two of my hens pecked another one to death when she was not feeling up to par.  I know chickens do peck each other and can be agressive to maintain the pecking order so what is the best way to cause the least amount of stress for all involved (especially me /WorkArea/threadeddisc/emoticons/happy.png)

Thanks

Christine

 

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