Introducing new chickens into a “flock” is something that presents challenges, no matter how small that flock may be (say, like, two chickens).
We read up before we accepted the replacement chickens (they are replacing two chickens which, over the span of a couple months, were injured by a neighbor dog who developed a taste for chicken). We found out that there can be problems bringing in new chicken pals and they can get picked on quite a bit. Here’s how we did it…
First we put a dog kennel inside the chicken coop run. Then we put the Silkies into the kennel so they could be close but not in danger.
Then after a day or two we let them go into the coop after it was dark and the other two chickens were already roosting for the night. In the morning we tried to open the coop earlier than normal so there would be limited amount of “play time” for the two sets of birds. We kept the Silkies in the coop so they’d learn where home was.
At the end of the day we opened the coop and our other chickens returned home. There was a bit of pecking at this point, but nothing too harmful. We repeated this cycle for a few about a week. Then we let all the chickens out and left the door open so they could come back in when they wanted.
So far so good! Everyone is still alive and we haven’t seen any pecking that’s been anything more than posturing. I’ll have to check in here in a couple months and see if things have continued to go smoothly.
I should mention that the Silkies were laying eggs at their former location but they have yet to lay any for us. We think they are stressed out and need a bit more time to adjust. Our other chickens should begin laying within a month or so, so it is possible that we’ll have four eggs a day for a while, until it gets too cold. Should be fun!