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Introducing new chickens to the establishment

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
So I got my main flock which includes two buff orpingtons, one white bantem and a little Americana.

I just got four bowen hens, that I want to eventually let free range with the other flock, and put them in the same coop.

I guess my question is, what would be the best way to do this? I have the bowen hens in a coop with a fenced in yard so they can't peck at each other. Please give me some advice
post #2 of 9
Honestly I just got new chickens yesterday and I don't know, but I want to here the advice! I am keeping my two new chickens seperate from the old girls where the old girls can only look at them through a fence ! And when I free range the girls I let the new ones out too! Idk if I should, anyone should I leave the new chickens free range with the others . The others are attacking one of the new ones
post #3 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by homestead 101 View Post

So I got my main flock which includes two buff orpingtons, one white bantem and a little Americana.

I just got four bowen hens, that I want to eventually let free range with the other flock, and put them in the same coop.

I guess my question is, what would be the best way to do this? I have the bowen hens in a coop with a fenced in yard so they can't peck at each other. Please give me some advice

Good start, leave them there for a few weeks...then allow new birds out to range late in afternoon an hour or so before roosting time, see how it goes.

 

 

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

 

It's about territory and resources(space/food/water). Existing birds will almost always attack new ones.

Understanding chicken behaviors is essential to integrating new birds into your flock.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

Best example ever of chick respite and doors by azygous http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1069595/introducing-chicks-to-adults#post_16276224

 

 

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."

Reply

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
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
Well I read up on putting them on the roost with the new chickens at night time. I have heard good reviews on that so that's what I am trying tonight, wish me luck. I am hoping for the best and planning for the worst
post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by homestead 101 View Post

Well I read up on putting them on the roost with the new chickens at night time. I have heard good reviews on that so that's what I am trying tonight, wish me luck. I am hoping for the best and planning for the worst

Sometimes that works, premise is that the existing birds will think the new ones have always been there.

...but....Like bobbie-j sez: "chickens aren't the brightest animals on this planet, but they're not that stupid." 

 

I'd be there very early in the morning to observe....hopefully you have a large cop and places of respite for the newbies.


Edited by aart - 5/3/16 at 4:44am

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

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
post #6 of 9
How do I know when it's time to move my new chickens in with my old ones on the roost? What signs are there that mean the new ones won't be killed and are accepted?
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
I put them in at night two days ago and I took the big girl that's on the top of the pecking order out. It turned out great. They have gone back with the hens at night, but I still have a problem of them sleeping in the nest box. I go out there when it's dark and put them on the roost. Is there anything else I can do?
post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by homestead 101 View Post

I put them in at night two days ago and I took the big girl that's on the top of the pecking order out. It turned out great. They have gone back with the hens at night, but I still have a problem of them sleeping in the nest box. I go out there when it's dark and put them on the roost. Is there anything else I can do?

That's interesting....did you put top hen back in yet?

 

I built a hinged cover for the nest openings....flip it down to close off nests it late afternoon, open it back up after dark when I lock up.

I also have another roost I put up temporarily, a little lower than the main roosts, then they don't have to fight the bigs to roost.

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

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
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
I have put the hem back in and everything worked out perfectly. They slept on the roost. I have another dilemma, all the other chickens are pooping normal but the one of my new ones was all wet underneath her belly, I checked and it was a really runney poop. I think it was diarrhoea
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