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Advice adding both new chickens and ducks to two existing older hens

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
So I've kept a small flock of hens going on 10 years now and haven't added any new birds in years and I am now down to two. I decided to finally get some more chickens to add to the two I have left but went with pullets (didn't want to raise baby chicks again or have to wait so long for fresh eggs) and so I ordered 4 more EE's from Murray McMurray that will arrive end of March. Then after I had ordered them I decided to get ducks as I had wanted to add them to my chickens for years. So I ordered 2 female ducklings a Buff and a Cayuga which will arrive April 4th. Then a very good friend of mine who has a small farm asked if I wanted one of her EE hens that constantly is getting bullied to the point of injury by being pecked at aggressively. They had pecked a small hole in the back of head/neck area and had her separated to nurse back to health. I had told her I would take the hen.
So now I have 3 seperate groups being introduced to my 2 hens, the one from my friends first then the 4 pullets and then the ducks. I'm concerned it would be a lot of stress on my 2 older girls. Any advice on how I can make this transition easier? I am planting sweet grass (a type of med. sized ornamental grass here) in various areas of my run to give refuge to those who need it. And plan to make sure I have multiple feeder/waters around the run and inside the coop (ducks feed will be placed in their duck house and I will use nipple waters when I can). Any advice will be much appreciated.

PS As for the ducks the have small house situated at the end of the run and a small 20 gal. stock tank also at the end of the run that I will elevate and surround with pavers and smooth stones to keep it as mud free and I can and where I can easier dump into my garden that butts up to the end of the run. Hopefully that will help having both chickens and ducks living together.
Edited by HennyPenny2 - 2/22/16 at 8:38am
Mother of 2, homeschool, have 2 Red Stars, 2 BB, 2 EE, and 2 RR. 1 2 yr old naughty chocolate lab  puppy, 1 14 yr old cockerspaniel. Check out my new blog on keeping chickens, gardening, and growing antique roses in the south at www.hennypennyrosecottage.blogspot.com
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Mother of 2, homeschool, have 2 Red Stars, 2 BB, 2 EE, and 2 RR. 1 2 yr old naughty chocolate lab  puppy, 1 14 yr old cockerspaniel. Check out my new blog on keeping chickens, gardening, and growing antique roses in the south at www.hennypennyrosecottage.blogspot.com
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post #2 of 7
You will want to pen each group separately but along side each other, then allow mingling under supervision. It will take a while because they are older, you might have more trouble with the single EE. So I would personally get some pens assembled and get ready for a while of trying and separating, eventually leaving everyone together, it does depend on everyone's personality and whether anyone is too bossy.

Your ducks won't be a problem as far as pecking order, my ducks and chickens go back and forth with who's the boss, but don't fight, they sneak in pecks and jabs occasionally. The ducks will make a mess, so you may want to separate them later if they get too messy, but only two might be okay. You have got a busy few months ahead. Sounds exciting.
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
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Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
post #3 of 7


Oldhenlikesdogs have given you some good advice. You may also wish to look through threads on the topic:

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/newsearch?search=integrating+new+chickens+into+a+flock

 

All the best

CT

Nairobi, Kenya
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Nairobi, Kenya
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post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice. I think I'm even more stressed lol. I have integrated new hens before but it was 6 to my first 3 hens and it went smoothly. It's the thought of having only two older hens left and integrating 3 different "groups" of newbies that has me concerned and something I have never done before. I was actually kinda hoping that introducing the one hen to just two wouldn't be so bad. Im glad to hear the ducks will hopefully be less of a problem, that is some relief. I can divide the run if the ducks messiness becomes a problem but I'm trying to minimize that as much as possible for both me and the hens. I was more concerned over them as another added stress to my two existing older hens. Im thinking and hoping that by the time they are able to go into the run that the other hens will have settled down. But then I was afraid of disturbing that all over again adding in the ducks later of which I have no choice. I have about a month before the 4 new hens get here and the one picked on hen I will have probably this weekend so a month between them. Im not looking forward to months of separating. 😕 I'm already exhausted thinking about it! I have a "caged" area under their roosts in the coop, should I let the one hen I'm getting here soon sleep in there at night or keep here in another totally seperate cage elsewhere till she can roost with them at night and same for the 4 coming in a month?
Thanks for any advice you have given. 🙂
Mother of 2, homeschool, have 2 Red Stars, 2 BB, 2 EE, and 2 RR. 1 2 yr old naughty chocolate lab  puppy, 1 14 yr old cockerspaniel. Check out my new blog on keeping chickens, gardening, and growing antique roses in the south at www.hennypennyrosecottage.blogspot.com
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Mother of 2, homeschool, have 2 Red Stars, 2 BB, 2 EE, and 2 RR. 1 2 yr old naughty chocolate lab  puppy, 1 14 yr old cockerspaniel. Check out my new blog on keeping chickens, gardening, and growing antique roses in the south at www.hennypennyrosecottage.blogspot.com
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post #5 of 7
Depend if you plan to isolate her first to make sure she's not carrying any diseases. I would get within sight of your older ones after that and not remove her unless your setup doesn't allow for inside room for a pen. It's possible it goes quickly and smoothly, you never know, I'm just not a fan of just tossing them together, I did this years ago and ended up with a chicken without an eye.

Your existing hens shouldn't be too stressed, they at least are in their own territory, the new ones will be more stressed. Give them room and time and I think it will go okay.
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldhenlikesdogs View Post

Depend if you plan to isolate her first to make sure she's not carrying any diseases. I would get within sight of your older ones after that and not remove her unless your setup doesn't allow for inside room for a pen. It's possible it goes quickly and smoothly, you never know, I'm just not a fan of just tossing them together, I did this years ago and ended up with a chicken without an eye.

Your existing hens shouldn't be too stressed, they at least are in their own territory, the new ones will be more stressed. Give them room and time and I think it will go okay.

I do plan on quarantining her for 2 weeks, she's been quarantined at my friends house and will be till I get her because the other hens where she's at pin her down and attack her. But I'm still going to isolate her her for the 2 weeks. I do have room to pen an area within my run so I'll do that using the see but don't touch as I've done before. And after reading some other links I'll let them free range in the yard with supervision. I really hope it all goes smoothly. The two hens I have were the bottom of the pecking order and are very docile so I just really hope it goes ok. I know introducing one hen to a flock is not a good idea but maybe just two in a large run will help? I hope anyway. And if not then my hope is that when the 4 new hens arrive since the one hen will have been here first and is older then the 4 pullets that she will be higher in the pecking order then them. At least that's what I'm hoping. But you really don't think adding the ducks later will cause too much problem?
Mother of 2, homeschool, have 2 Red Stars, 2 BB, 2 EE, and 2 RR. 1 2 yr old naughty chocolate lab  puppy, 1 14 yr old cockerspaniel. Check out my new blog on keeping chickens, gardening, and growing antique roses in the south at www.hennypennyrosecottage.blogspot.com
Reply
Mother of 2, homeschool, have 2 Red Stars, 2 BB, 2 EE, and 2 RR. 1 2 yr old naughty chocolate lab  puppy, 1 14 yr old cockerspaniel. Check out my new blog on keeping chickens, gardening, and growing antique roses in the south at www.hennypennyrosecottage.blogspot.com
Reply
post #7 of 7
The only worry with the ducks might be the chickens pecking at them. My chickens recognize ducks as a different species and don't interact with them except to chase them for a bit or be chased. I would put a small temporary fence around their area for a week or so to keep them separated as well as getting them used to their separate home.
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
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