Better Tomes and Gardens (ex_foxglove) wrote in city_chickens,
Better Tomes and Gardens
ex_foxglove
city_chickens

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adding hens to an established flock- help!

Hey all, I live in Atlanta and have a small backyard chicken flock. Recently we had a predator attack, and lost 2 of my 5 hens. I went a little nuts and built a much larger coop with a predator-proof run, and bought 5 more hens. I have added chickens to a flock once in the past, and everything went well, but this time I'm having problems. I thought that adding 5 new chickens to a flock of only 3 would sort of keep the balance of power, especially since I put all the birds into the new coop together, at night, but my 3 older chickens are being very aggressive. They're not injuring the new chickens, except for a few pulled feathers, but they're monopolizing the run and the food and water- the new chickens are immediately retreating to the interior of the coop, and not coming out to the run. I tried putting food inside, but it's not really working- they're sitting on perches and not eating, I guess because it's dark in there. Anyway, I finally figured out how to rig up some netting that will divide the run in two, but my favorite of the new birds has just died, I suspect from starvation. I pushed all the birds out of the coop into the run, and when they realized the old birds couldn't get at them anymore they stayed out, and ate and drank, but the netting is a temporary fix at best. Does anybody have any advice? I'm getting desperate.
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