Adding a chicken to a small flock

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by FluffyPolarBear, Apr 12, 2017.

  1. FluffyPolarBear

    FluffyPolarBear Just Hatched

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    Apr 12, 2017
    Hello!

    So I literally have a flock of 2, yeah 2, but I used to have 3 so I want to get one more. I was wondering if anything might go wrong while introducing them, I have 2 golden comets (the tips of their beaks are cut off [we didn't know that when we got them]) and I've never even seen any of them peck each other ever, except for if one is pecking food off of the other ones face of course. [​IMG] I was just wondering if there is anything I should be worried about or if I'm perfectly fine with my cute little hens who aren't so little. Haha, thanks!
    P.S. I will either be getting a bantam or another golden comet.
    P.P.S. Should I be worried about diseases spreading to my tiny flock?
     
  2. 0wen

    0wen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, quarantine. Biosecurity above all else.

    I would introduce her the same way those of us with larger flocks do so. Quarantine - look, don't touch - integrate.
    Not everyone does it, and some of them get lucky and don't have disease arrive in their flock. I don't add live birds (I add birds via hatching eggs if I add anything that isn't mine), but would not just toss them in if I ever did...
     
  3. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    It can be difficult to add just one bird. The two you have are an established flock. They are not going to be all warm and welcoming to another chicken. They are very territorial. The look but don't touch thing can help reduce it, but there is still a chance that there will be drama.

    Whether you quarantine is up to you. Is it worth the risk of potentially lose your other two if you bring home one with disease? Do you have the capability to quarantine properly? (Keeping your new chicken about 300' from the others, hopefully downwind from prevailing winds, separate feeder and waterer for her, changing shoes and clothes between coops) If you don't, you're not really quarantining anyway.
     
  4. FluffyPolarBear

    FluffyPolarBear Just Hatched

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    So if I get some chicks then I won't have to worry about all this quarentine stuff? Because I don't think I could manage all that with my small backyard and dog stomping around everywhere, spreading germs and stuff.... Even if they are someone elses chicks? Won't the hens attack the chick/s, or will they 'adopt' them?
     
  5. 0wen

    0wen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They'll probably attack them.
     
  6. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    Adult hens will attack and probably kill baby chicks if you get them unless you can keep them separate until they are big enough to integrate. If it were me, and I only had two chickens, I'd probably take the chance on getting two more adult birds if I had enough room. You are the only one who can decide if it's worth it or not. I'd be careful of where I get them, though. I wouldn't go to a swap. I'd maybe see if there is a local poultry club or 4-H club or something like that and start there. I'd see if I can go to where the chickens are being raised, and thoroughly check out any bird I want to buy. Don't buy anything you feel sorry for. Don't "rescue" any. Look for any signs of drainage, discharge, or external parasites.

    Chicks from a hatchery are more likely to be "safe". Just picking them up from someone else could still potentially expose your birds. I have added birds to my flock in the past without problems. Others have not had that experience. It's your call.
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
     

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