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Getting older chickens.

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Has anyone had experience with getting older chickens and adding them to your flock? I was wondering if they will bond to me as much as my existing chickens have?
post #2 of 6

Oh yes. I began my flock with a couple of hens I adopted after a friend died and her husband decided he couldn't care for them. They both bonded with me and became very affectionate.

 

The same has been true for a hen I recently adopted from a shelter. She's very bonded with me and enjoys being held and cuddled. You can read about it at the third link below.

post #3 of 6

It depends on how well you trust the people you are getting them from. It takes a pretty experienced eye to age chickens after they are a year old. If someone is giving you old chickens, they will not give many eggs, and they may very well bring in a disease, and generally do not live a lot longer.

 

If you are sure that you are getting just year old chickens, and can inspect where they come from, it will take a while, but eventually they will behave as a flock of individuals, some will be friendly, some will be more flighty, but if the flock is pretty calm, they will be so too. Your current hens probably will hate them for quite a while. 

 

Mrs K

Western South Dakota Rancher
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Western South Dakota Rancher
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post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrs. K View Post

It depends on how well you trust the people you are getting them from. It takes a pretty experienced eye to age chickens after they are a year old. If someone is giving you old chickens, they will not give many eggs, and they may very well bring in a disease, and generally do not live a lot longer.

If you are sure that you are getting just year old chickens, and can inspect where they come from, it will take a while, but eventually they will behave as a flock of individuals, some will be friendly, some will be more flighty, but if the flock is pretty calm, they will be so too. Your current hens probably will hate them for quite a while. 

Mrs K

Thanks for the advice. Sadly we only have one hen right now sad.png a pack of coyotes came through and she is the only survivor. We were thinking of getting older hens instead of having to raise more chicks. But we think we are going to go ahead and get chicks.
It may be a while before our little survivor has a flock again. But I think she will be ok
post #5 of 6

It wouldn't be too hard to get an older bird to keep your lone hen company. They are flock animals and need companionship. I'm forever seeing two year old layers for free in the paper or on craigslist. Be from a flock of 100 or so sex link layers that are in second winter. Perfectly good birds and can be had cheap or free, one or two just to keep your girl company would be a good idea. All for raising new chicks too. Get a good cycle going so you've always a few pullets wintering for eggs.

Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.

 

-Charles Dudley Warner

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Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.

 

-Charles Dudley Warner

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post #6 of 6

I advise going with chicks rather than an adult hen raised in someone else's flock. It's easy to import a wicked disease by adopting a grown hen or rooster. Even though the birds may appear very healthy, they could be carrying a virus such as lymphotic leucosis but be resistant to it. However, the virus is active and shedding and will infect coops runs and soil, thus lying in wait to make future birds sick.

 

This happened to me, probably with those first two adult hens I started out with. Now my flock has this virus and there's no way to get rid of it except by culling all of them and starting all over with chicks.

 

Read my second linked article to see how easy it is to raise and integrate chicks with an adult hen.

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