I have been raising chickens for awhile. I've tried many different ways & final came up with putting them all in the henhouse together AT NIGHT when they are getting to roost. The next day or 2 there was some fussing in the coop, the pecking order got figured out and that is how I've done it ever since. It works for me. They do get pecked at and the younger chicks make it sound like there being killed, but it's the way they find out where they stand in there community. Hope it helps. Ps. If you start to see anyone get bloody get them cleaned up and stop there bleeding with a blood stick. You can get them at Walmart. It looks like a stick of chock from our days in school. If the chickens see red they will keep going for it. Keep me posted. Grumpy....
I agree. We put ours in at night and put out extra feeders and water along with a few items that the new birds can hide behind. Don't know if it truly helps, but it seems if there is less competition at the feeder and the new ones aren't constantly in the line of sight they are picked on less while they work out the new pecking order. Good Luck!
A related question-How about putting a couple of week old pekin bantam chicks in with two silkie hens who are approx 10 months old? Would they mother them? If I do the night thing, how can I watch them to make sure they are not pecking them!
I would think if they're going to hurt them, it would be right away. I'd do supervised short visits and see how it goes. Information gathering for you and everyone else too. My guess is that if there's gonna be a problem then you'll know it pretty soon. I also think that once you know their temperament (the Poulets) then they will consistently be that way.