When you get your new chickens home, we strongly recommend that you put them in an arc or similar where your existing chooks can see them, for ideally 2 weeks. Doing so makes the integration of your new and existing flocks much easier and far less stressful, for both you and your chickens. Chickens will nearly always attack newcomers, but if they can see the newcomers (but cannot get to them) for a reasonable period of time, they will certainly fight less and therefore injuries can be avoided. This period of adjustment is also beneficial to your new chickens, permitting them to learn their new routine such as feeding times, and also to get to know you.
If, when you purchase a pullet that is already in lay, doesn't then lay when you get her home don't worry. This is perfectly normal. We would normally expect a pullet that is already in lay, to come back into lay after about 2 weeks i.e. once she's settled in to her new home.
It is not recommended to mix unknown cockerels in the same pen, even if you have a large flock. They will inevitably injure or even kill each other.
Once your new girls are settled in, you can put them into the chicken house at dusk, with the existing flock. That way, they will wake up together in the morning and so, once again, less fighting will occur. They will also know where to go to bed the following night. Make sure you have double the amount of feeders and drinkers available for the first few weeks, whilst they establish their new pecking order.
If ever you have any worries or any questions regarding your new birds, give us a call or send us a message and we will get back to you (usually the same day, but certainly within 24 hours). We are here to help, and more than happy to pass on the knowledge that our chooks have tought us!
Last edited: 06/05/2012