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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am getting three older hens from someone who is moving. I have five. My girls have free run of the yard, they have a coop and run they get locked in at night and the morning until they are let out. How long should I keep the new girls locked up so they learn this is their new home?
 

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Hi,
I built a run coming off of the established run and added a small coop. The newbies and the established flock can see each other and interact through the chicken wire but can't actually get at each other. For three or four days I kept them segregated then an hour or so before dusk I let them all out together to free range around the garden. They have plenty of space then to avoid each other! I do this for about another week depending on whether they get on or not. I'm doing this at the moment and unfortunately there was a rather spiteful fight, actually drawing blood so I kept them away from each other for a couple of days and today let them all roam around together again. This time they got on better, mostly avoiding each other and with one or two pecks but no real fight. I'll continue like this for a few more days and see how they go. When I did this with my previous newbies they used to return to their own coops at dusk and one night I panicked as I couldn't find the newbies. They'd gone into the main coop with the 'old' flock and that was it they were settled. That's what I'm hoping will happen this time :)
 

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I forgot to add I have five in the original flock and two new hens. The newbies are about the same size as the established hens. I wouldn't put much smaller birds in with the old hens.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks. Mine are all full grown about the same size. They all has to go in one coop and thankfully all got along with just a small amount of bickering. I let then out a few hours before dark and on the second day they knew how to get back in. The new girls are enjoying having free range as opposed to being locked in their ok coop. They are just starting to come up to the house for treats with everyone else.
 
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