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Adding hens to our flock

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Early this year we ordered 35 baby chicks and raised them to where they are now laying pretty good.  Question I have is this,  we gave 12 of the chicks to two different friends so they could enjoy fresh eggs as well as us.  One took 4 and they are doing fine,  the other friend just let the chicks free range and their dogs have killed 3 of them and the husband doesn't want them any longer (to messy he says) and they wife loves them but wants us to take them.  Since our girls have been raised in a coop and run, will these four hens be allowed to fit in with the 24 we now have without much picking?   Or would it be better to find a free range home for them?

post #2 of 5


If you can, it will be easier on you and the chickens to find a home for them where they constitute the flock (i.e. they are not additions). I also agree that somewhere where they can free range would be better for them. 

 

I am not suggesting that integrating them with your flock is not possible - it certainly is and there are lots of threads on the subject here at BYC. But if you do not feel you need them, then re-homing them would be easier on you, your existing flock and the re-homing flock.

 

All the best

CT

Nairobi, Kenya
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Nairobi, Kenya
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post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

Well, we tried to find a new home for the 6 hens, but it didn't work out.  So we enclosed an area in the coop and run just for the 6 hens.  Had to place them in the coop tonight and they sure trying to fly out...good thing our run has a solid roof on it as well.  The hens that we have sure were interested in being with the new girls...who knows, maybe they remember them while the grew up together.  Tomorrow should be very interesting.

post #4 of 5


It will indeed!

hope all goes well

Nairobi, Kenya
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Nairobi, Kenya
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post #5 of 5

Here's some notes I've taken on integration that I found to be very helpful.......

......take what applies or might help and ignore the rest.

See if any of them, or the links provided at the bottom, might offer some tips that will assist you in your situation:

 

Integration of new chickens into flock.

 

Consider medical quarantine:

BYC Medical Quarantine Article

Poultry Biosecurity

BYC 'medical quarantine' search

 

Confine new birds within sight but physically segregated from older/existing birds for several weeks, so they can see and get used to each other but not physically interact. Integrating new birds of equal size works best.

 

For smaller chicks I used a large wire dog crate right in the coop for the smallers. I removed the crate door and put up a piece of wire fencing over the opening and bent up one corner just enough for the smallers to fit thru but the biggers could not. Feed and water inside the crate for the smallers. Make sure the smallers know how to get in and out of the crate opening before exposing them to the olders. this worked out great for me, by the time the crate was too small for the them to roost in there(about 3 weeks), they had pretty much integrated themselves to the olders.

 

If you have too many smallers to fit in a crate you can partition off part of the coop with a wire wall and make the same openings for smallers escape.

 

 

The more space, the better. Birds will peck to establish dominance, the pecked bird needs space to get away. As long as there's no blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down, let them work it out. Every time you interfere or remove new birds, they'll have to start the pecking order thing all over again.

 

Multiple feed/water stations. Dominance issues are most often carried out over sustenance, more stations lessens the frequency of that issue.

 

Places for the new birds to hide out of line of sight and/or up and away from any bully birds.

 

In adjacent runs, spread scratch grains along the dividing mesh, best of mesh is just big enough for birds to stick their head thru, so they get used to eating together.

 

Another option, if possible, is to put all birds in a new coop and run, this takes the territoriality issues away.

 

Read up on integration.....  BYC advanced search>titles only>integration

This is good place to start reading:

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/adding-to-your-flock

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

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Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply
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