Introducing new hens to existing hens can be stressful for all concerned, but there are ways to make the process as stress free for your girls as possible…
Through a little trial and error I’ve found that simple distraction tactics work the best. Provide a pile of straw or hay for your girls and mix in some corn or wheat, the hens will be so busy rooting about in it they won’t notice the new hens!
If you have the time, take up a position close to the coop and have a squeezey water bottle or child’s water pistol to hand, then if the hens start to square up to each other, squirt the ground close to the hens (don’t aim at the hens!) and again the water will act as a distraction.
Merging old hens with new hens, may disrupt the existing pecking order, if you find one hen in particular is becoming a bit of a ‘bully’, there are steps you can take to regain the status quo in your flock. Take a look at our FAQ page for a step by step guide to managing bully hens.
If you would like to ask Gaynor a hen health question please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Hen Central on 01884 860084. To support our Advice Line we ask for a nominal donation to help fund this service, so that we can continue to help your hens.