Although unlikely, we don't want to risk introducing any unexpected diseases to the others. Eventually they will all be sleeping in the Shed together and that is when they will have to establish a pecking order.
Best advice seems to be let them get used to seeing each other for a while then put them all in together one night and let them get on with it and only isolate any bird that gets pecked excessively.
The trick after the first night or two is to get them out of the shed early in the morning to avoid excess fighting in the shed they can then establish the new pecking order in the run or field and any lower ranked bird can run and hide.
I also read that the ex bats may never have seen different colour Hens before so that could be a bit of a shock, keeping them separated but in plain sight would solve that. the ex bats weren't bothered by the Ducks though!
I am glad we are doing the new introductions at this time of year I don't think I would want to be out supervising introductions at the crack of dawn in the summer.
Anyway we now have nine large fowl Chickens, with room for three more in the current shed then that's it till age or illness takes its toll and some replacements are required, I think we will stick to buying hens in threes though.
However at the auction today were dozens of Bantams, gorgeous little birds
and we have a 4M x 2M x 2M Poly tunnel frame that would make an ideal Chicken Tractor to keep them in.
That would then get the smaller lawns under control as well, as I said at the start of this blog if I can find a way of never mowing again it will have all been worth it.
Bubble noticed the new arrivals first and called over reinforcements.
At one point the Ducks were all lined up examining the Barnvelders from on high!
Rusty explaining to Sooty that the Shetland Ponies will not eat them and neither will the Ducks
Barnvelder on the left
Ex Bats on the right.