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Adding a bird

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Hargett, Jul 22, 2019.

  1. Hargett

    Hargett In the Brooder

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    Hello all,
    I just recently finished my coop/run and got 5 chickens! We went to a local 4-H poultry show and auction and came home with 3 Rhode Island Reds and 2 Easter eggers. City ordinance here allows for 6 hens, so I am looking to add one more bird that is 4-5 months old like the others. I have found some birds for sale on Craigslist, and am just curious if anyone has bought birds that way. Is there another way that you like to buy hens that are getting close to laying? Also, if I buy a bird off of Craigslist are there things I should be looking for to make sure the bird is healthy? Thanks in advance for any responses!
     
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  2. Sequel

    Sequel Crowing

    I bought a couple chicks on Craigslist and everything was fine. The woman I got them from brooded hatchery chicks so they were vaccinated for Marek's disease. That was the only thing I knew to ask about at the time.
    I've heard there are shady characters selling chickens there but my experience was a good one. If you got quality ones through 4H could you maybe contact a local group and get one from them? Whatever you do, good luck!
     
    ButtonquailGirl14 likes this.
  3. AmyJane725

    AmyJane725 Crowing

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    If you're gonna buy off craigslist just be aware that you're opening your flock up to whatever diseases this random persons birds have.

    If you do decide to get one from Craigslist, I'd check over any chicken for ectoparasites, check for eye clarity, alertness, a well groomed appearance, no raised leg scales, no nasal or eye discharge, clear breathing sounds, etc.
     
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  4. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

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    I know you can have 6 chickens, and there is a natural want to fill it up. I am going to suggest you don't, let me give you some of my reasons:
    • The other 5 will not like her, and can be viciously mean
    • A single bird is one of the most difficult additions unless it is a full grown rooster
    • Chickens do not often have real long lives, so the chance of you loosing a hen in the next year is relatively reasonable and it will be easier to add two birds rather than the single addition
    • You have just set up your coop/run, give it some time to see if you really have enough room for the birds you have, overcrowding causes very ugly behaviors, many of the prefab coops vastly over estimate how many birds will fit in the set up by a multiplication of 3. So if it says six birds, think more like 2-3 birds.
    • Disease, mites and lice can be brought in and infect your whole flock when adding a new bird without quarantine, and most small flocks do not have the space to do an effective quarantine.
    • And you are just getting started, without much experience, adding birds is tricky and stressful. It would be best to just enjoy what you have in a peaceful flock while you figure this out.
    Good luck

    Mrs K
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    My Coop
    Ditto All Dat!!!^^^
     
  6. Hargett

    Hargett In the Brooder

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    Thank you very much for the great advice. Unfortunately I already got the new bird. It’s not been great. I currently have her fenced off in a corner of my run with food and water. They slept ok in the coop last night, but the other birds are being aggressive and not letting her near the feeder and water. I’m hoping that things will calm down.
     
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  7. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

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    I was afraid of that.

    If things calm down a bit, try making her pen a bit bigger, and adding a single bird to her. They will duke it out, but as long as one is not bleeding, let them at it. That would be one on one, not one to 5. It is a bit easier to add a pair to the flock.

    However, you may very well need to cull this bird, or even two birds. They should be easy to sell, point of lay birds. Too many birds for your set up is just that. Behaviors get worse instead of better, wishing they would all just get along will not work.

    Also, your birds are not quite full grown, but close, they may actually need more space than what is working for them now. While this is not perfect, measure your coop, measure your run. For 6 birds, you would need a coup approximately 24 square feet, 4 x 6 feet. And for the run, about 60 square feet. 6 x 10 feet. Most pre-fabs are not even close to that.

    Give this two weeks, if things are still very strifeful, reduce the flock. Always solve for the peace of the flock. If you have a dog crate, you might even try it now. Take out one or two birds, and see how the rest of the gang get along. If tension drops, that is a better number for your set up.

    We have all been there, what can one more bird hurt? Only to later realize that a tension filled, squabbling, fighting flock is really not much fun. You will enjoy the flock more if your reduce the tension by having the right number of birds to fit the coop/run.

    Mrs K
     
  8. Hargett

    Hargett In the Brooder

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    Thanks again. I appreciate the insight. My setup is not prefab, we built it from scratch. The coop is 6x4 24sq ft. Run is 6x10 60sq ft. I will try this out for a while and then take your advice!

    69A09848-7DDC-4B7E-B3CC-CC19F2AAFB78.jpeg
     
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  9. PirateGirl

    PirateGirl Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist

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    Can you set up another food and water station at the opposite end of the run? This way they can/will spread out and everyone should be able to eat and drink without getting bullied too bad. Just bowls from your kitchen or recycling will do the trick. Eventually you should be able to take them away.
     
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  10. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

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    Oh, I am so glad not pre-fab, so many people do get that and they are a disaster.

    Do give this a try, a couple of weeks, it may very well settle down.
     
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