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Merging Flocks

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

This spring I built a larger coop to increase my flock from six hens to 12+.  My six hens are probably just over two years old (I got them from a local CSA) and may even be three years old. They are still in the old coop.  Last week I picked up a dozen new chicks and they are obviously still in the brooder.  

 

Of my older hens, one has a really poopy butt that won't seem to clear up, and one of them is missing most of her feathers (she has been missing them since I got her.  I was told she was moulting, but they never grew back).  I've looked multiple times for mites and haven't seen any, but I still treated with DE.  These hens free range most days.

 

In a few weeks I'll be moving the chicks to the new coop.  They won't be allowed out for awhile until they acclimate.  I'm hesitant to move the old hens in with them because I don't want to transfer any issues those girls had to the new coop.  I also don't want to free range them together for the same reason.

 

Am I over thinking this, or should I keep the old girls cooped up until the new girls start laying, then get rid of them?

 

Thanks!

post #2 of 3

It would be a good idea to figure out what ails your existing birds and take care of it.

You can get a fecal done here...http://www.midamericaagresearch.net/instructions.php

Also post pics of birds and droppings in a new thread in the disease forum for some suggestions as to what may be an issue and what may not.

 

One thing you can do to help the chicks build some immunities to your resident organisms is to put a small chunk of sod from where your existing chickens roam in the brooder with the chicks. Many folks start to do this after the first week. Put a fresh one in every couple days, the chicks will have a ball scratching it up.

 

ETA: You could keep them separate until the chicks start laying then get rid of the olders. But even if you have a run for the chicks while the olders are free ranging, the chicks will still be exposed to what ever the olders have thru the air and both groups having contact with you.


Edited by aart - 5/9/16 at 5:06am

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 #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by aart View Post
 

It would be a good idea to figure out what ails your existing birds and take care of it.

You can get a fecal done here...http://www.midamericaagresearch.net/instructions.php

Also post pics of birds and droppings in a new thread in the disease forum for some suggestions as to what may be an issue and what may not.

 

One thing you can do to help the chicks build some immunities to your resident organisms is to put a small chunk of sod from where your existing chickens roam in the brooder with the chicks. Many folks start to do this after the first week. Put a fresh one in every couple days, the chicks will have a ball scratching it up.

 

ETA: You could keep them separate until the chicks start laying then get rid of the olders. But even if you have a run for the chicks while the olders are free ranging, the chicks will still be exposed to what ever the olders have thru the air and both groups having contact with you.


Thanks.  I may send in a fecal sample when I get home.  It's odd, since only two hens are affected and they don't appear to both have the same thing.

 

I do have separate coops AND runs for each of them.  I don't need to let them range.

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