Transitioning chickens can be a long process. It also really depends on the age of the birds, and if you already have hens at home. I will give an overview of how to transition your chickens to their new home.
No matter what, it is very important to quarantine your chickens prior to moving them into their new home. You never know what illnesses they may have, and you do not want to bring that into your new coop or existing flock. New chickens should be quarantined for 2-4 weeks. Be sure to check their poop, eyes, feet, legs, and body for illnesses or injuries before exiting them from quarantine.
When you move the chickens to the coop, they will need to be cooped up for 2-4 days. This ensures they learn that the coop is their home, so that they go back there each night.
If you have an existing flock and are adding new chickens, it is best to make the process slow and steady. Start by keeping your existing flock in their coop and run and keeping the new birds in an enclosure right next to the current coop. This allows the chickens to get to know each other in a safe environment. After this goes on for a few days to a week, you can mix the chickens together.
Even though the chickens have been exposed to each other, they will still need to establish a new pecking order. This can take anywhere from 2 days to 2 weeks. Establishing a pecking order can be violent at times. The chickens will pack and fight each other to create an order of dominance. Roosters will create a system of hierarchy with each other, roosters with hen, and hens with hens. Keep some chicken first aid supplies on hand during this time.
Once the pecking order us established, you will have a productive flock. Keep an eye on all the birds for any physical or mental changes in the days and weeks following the transition. This is a time that birds can get ill or stressed out. Be mindful of your birds and seek help when necessary.
Enjoy your flock and the delicious, fresh eggs that are soon to come!