Update on Introducing New Chicks to Flock

Last Saturday night my husband and I quietly crept out to our coop and by flashlight added our young chickens to our existing flock. This was my first-ever chicken introduction attempt and I have to say it's been challenging to mix things up.

During the first few days, there was no mixing of the flocks during daylight hours. We're lucky enough to have a large fenced-in area for the chickens to roam and most of the time I found them in separate corners. The only problem was that the big chickens occupied the area around the coop and wouldn't let the newbies in. (It was hilarious to watch this behavior. They actually staged themselves at both entrances like sentries standing guard.) If, by chance, the newbies did get in to sneak some food and water, the older chickens just ran them off. So, I added some extra food and water around the run and this seemed to solve the problem.

The new chickens getting a turn at the food and water.

Oops! The older chickens noticed the newbies!
Mela, the Silver-Laced Wyandotte rushes the babies to the corner.

Now, the older chickens move in to eat and drink.
After the first night, I decided it might be a good idea to shake up the existing chickens. Since they are easily herded, I shut them into their enclosed run around bedtime. This way only the newbies had access to the coop and they took full advantage by grabbing the choice roosting spots. Then under cover of darkness, my husband and I added the older girls to the coop. (FYI - We had to be careful and shine the flashlight to help them onto their roosts. We found they were more disoriented than the newbies.) This new nighttime routine lasted two nights and kept everyone on their toes.

Then, nature nudged us into closer daytime contact. It rained. And, the only total protection was offered by the coop. So, I had no choice but to herd everyone in and hope for the best. I quickly added some broccoli plants from my garden and scattered scratch grains everywhere. I thought this would keep everyone occupied and cut down on squabbles. And, it worked. Both flocks spent all day and night confined together; we had no injuries and relative peace. I'm crossing my fingers and hoping this trend continues.

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