2 hens....can I add two more?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by yamato, Feb 4, 2012.

  1. yamato

    yamato New Egg

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    Feb 4, 2012
    We recently, just over 2 weeks ago, bought 3 hens young hens (18 weeks). Sadly one of them passed away overnight. We would like to get some more as 2 chickens is just not enough.

    What is the best way to do this? I have read other posts and websites so understand about quarantine etc.

    My main questions are:
    If I get 2 more hens a similar age/size will there likely still be alot of fighting or as I have only had the others for a couple of weeks will they not quite have established their full pecking order yet?

    Is it better to get the same breed, does that help/hinder or no effect on pecking?

    Any other specific advice would be greatly appreciated? We have room for 4 chickens comfortably so would prefer not to go over 4 in total.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. M.sue

    M.sue Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 29, 2011
    Michigan
    Having them close in age is good but honestly regardless the age.......the pecking order will continue till it's established...it's just nature....someones always top hen and someones always gonna be low.
     
  3. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Colorado Rockies
    Actually, I've had wonderful luck with chicks when I want to add to my flock. They tend to fall into the lower end of the pecking order when introduced at the proper age, and besides, chicks are fun to raise.

    If you look on Craig's List, you will find chicks of all ages. If you don't relish the hassle of a brooder of babies, look for some six to eight-week olds. They'll be ready to move into the coop with the older ones, under supervision, of course. They'll need a "panic room" in the pen to retreat into should they get chased and bullied, but it shouldn't be much of a problem, especially with only two older hens.

    I recommend strongly you get a "unit of four". I've found that this number provides strength in numbers against the tyranny of the older ones. You could get away with three, but two would be dangerous.

    Getting a different breed shouldn't matter in the least, and you'll enjoy the variety.
     
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  4. yamato

    yamato New Egg

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    Feb 4, 2012
    Thanks for the quick replies and advice. Much appreciated
     
  5. jak2002003

    jak2002003 Overrun With Chickens

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    Thailand
    Yes get some new hens. I would advise another 3 or more, so that your other 2 won't harass only one new new hen all the time (divides the aggression by 3).

    Easier if you can get the same size (not necessarily age). Any breed is OK. I advise to isolate the new ones for a couple of weeks to make sure they are not sick and so they won't spread diseases to you birds. However, I hate to wait and I usually add them after a couple of days if they seem OK - but you will take a bit of a risk.

    If you have large run you can let them out all together all at once. Make sure they have hiding places and things to fly up onto to get out the way of fight. Also provide 2 seperate food and water places. They will fight and make a noise for a day or 2, but mostly its harmless. The noise sounds worse that it is. BUT I would let them sleep in a different place for few days.

    DO NOT let them free range for a at least a week, or your birds might chase them away!

    Good luck - let is all know what happens.
     
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  6. yamato

    yamato New Egg

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    Feb 4, 2012
    Thanks. I like your way of thinking...I will extend the run a little so that we can have 3 more....kids will be happy.....neighbours too as they will get the overflow of eggs...
     

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