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Can you add more chickens to a already established flock?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hello all you chicken lovers out there.  I have a question for you.  I have 9 RIR and 1 RIR roo.  They all live nicely in a large A frame chicken pen.  I have then because I enjoy them and I sell their eggs.  Lately I have had so many people want eggs that I was wanting to get more chickens, maybe some EE for the blue eggs.  Can and how do I do this?  I have a cage that I could keep the new chickens in until they got closer to the size of my RIR.  Will they mix okay or will they fight?  The RIR do come out of the pen and roam around the yard most days.
Any advice would be great.  Thanks a lot and Happy Holidays!

post #2 of 8

Sure you can, but you need to observe some protocols if you get started birds rather than chicks, i.e. a quarantine period. If you raise some chicks, wait till they're close to adult size, usually around 12-14 weeks before trying to mix them. They'll fight/spar to reestablish the pecking order with the new members, but they'll work it out.

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post #3 of 8

I like to do the introductions slowly and then only after the new birds that are about grown.

I setup and cage or lot right next to the established flock and let them get to know each other through protection.  After a few days I let them out together to roam, seperating again to go to roost.  3-4 days of that I put the new ones on the perches beside the old ones at NIGHT.  That way they wake up together and there is usually less fighting.

No matter how you do it there will be fights and pecking to figure out everyones order.  It is best to have a couple extra feeding stations for the new ones.  Don't want the old ones to keep them away from the food.

Just watch and make sure the pecking doesn't get too severe.  If blood is drawn seperate that one immediately.  Once they get blood they won't stop.

Matt
Morganton, NC

Foothills Poultry since 2003

 

- Standards: White Rocks and SQ Black Cochins
- Bantams: BCLB/CLB Dutch, Calico Pet Project, and lots of Pets

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Foothills Poultry since 2003

 

- Standards: White Rocks and SQ Black Cochins
- Bantams: BCLB/CLB Dutch, Calico Pet Project, and lots of Pets

Reply
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 

Great advice!  Thanks so much.  In the spring I think I will get some EE chicks and keep them in a pen next to the RIR and when they get to the size of grown Chickens start letting them out to graze together and then slowly get them all in the same A frame pen. 

Will it matter that they will be different breeds?  Do chickens notice that kind of thing?  Should I get another roo or just leave it with my one RIR roo.  Honestly I can't imagine having another roo.  The one I have now might not last long.  Sorry to say but he has already tried to spur my 22 month old son and 3 yr old daughter.  He has one more chance and them he will be going away.  Sorry I hate to be like that, but these are my kids!  Opps kinda got off topic there.

post #5 of 8

They don't care about breeds when it comes to mating, but the different breeds will tend to hang out with their own breed.

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Speckledhen's Standard of Perfection

 

~A dog on its owner's property is a pet; A dog on someone else's property is a predator~

 
 

 

 

 

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 Shop www.blueroocreations.com where every artisan is a veteran or spouse of a veteran!

The Blue Roo Creations Mascot, Lancelot, says, Support Our Troops!

 

Speckledhen's Standard of Perfection

 

~A dog on its owner's property is a pet; A dog on someone else's property is a predator~

 
 

 

 

 

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post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by speckledhen 

the different breeds will tend to hang out with their own breed.


How can you write that without posting "the" picture? lol


 

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post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by speckledhen 

They don't care about breeds when it comes to mating, but the different breeds will tend to hang out with their own breed.


Me either.  tongue



Seriously, my post about mixing, well throwing, all my chickens together.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=26194
The big experiment....


Edited by PurpleChicken - 12/22/07 at 10:10pm
"A part of you might hate me, but son please don't mistake me, for a man who didn't care at all"
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I don't get around these parts much anymore so please don't PM me.  Use the email function under the user name.
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"A part of you might hate me, but son please don't mistake me, for a man who didn't care at all"
-
I don't get around these parts much anymore so please don't PM me.  Use the email function under the user name.
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post #8 of 8

Hello and welcome! smile

If you're going to raise the new EE's as chicks then you should put them first in a small heated brooder for 5-8 weeks. A large cardboard box will do, but anything that looks good like a hamster cage can do also. If they're finished in the brooder, put the chicks into the established flock's home, but make a wall of hardware cloth/welded wire to divide space for the old RIR's and the new chicks. This will let the RIR's see them and know them, but not touch them, because they might fight. They will get to know each other without fighting. After about a week, remove the barrier separating them. They can now live with the RIR's in peace. Also with blue eggs!

Good luck! big_smile

I am the chick that never was
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I am the chick that never was
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