When adding pullets (or grown hens) to an existing flock, care must be given.
Have you heard the term pecking order? The term, even used with humans, derives from hens. Chickens physically peck at other chickens, showing dominance and ranking order. Even a mild-tempered chicken can peck at a new one coming into her territory. It's all a natural order. When I say the term is also used with humans, think about middle school - a teen (or set of teens) showing their dominance to others by being mean, not allowing them to hang out with them, not wanting outsiders to sit at their lunch table, etc. Pecking order!
A flock of existing chickens are accustomed to their surroundings and have established 'friends' to hang out with. They also have a leader in place. Adding newbies can offset the balance in place.
This was our first experience with adding new chickens to an existing flock, so I thought I would share with you how we did it and how it is working out.
A website from Grit and Mother Earth News magazines.