Adding a new chicken?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by chickenluver555, Jan 23, 2014.

  1. chickenluver555

    chickenluver555 Songster

    Apr 20, 2013
    How do you recommend introducing a new chicken to your already established flock? I read that you shouldn't put chicks in with the adults, because they will get picked on. And that adding a new chicken will mess up the pecking order, so I need your advice.

  2. ChicknsRock

    ChicknsRock Crowing

    Oct 4, 2013
    A hen, especially a hen with her own brood, will definitely pick on and most likely kill chicks that aren't theirs. But, if you put chicks under a sleeping mother hen, when she awakes the new chick will have her smell and she will take it as her own. Cochin hens are great for raising foster chicks if they don't have a brood of their own.
    As for introducing a new chicken to the flock, I would also like to know.
  3. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    You can only slip chicks under a hen that has gone broody. It is best if she has been broody a couple of weeks. She thinks that the chicks hatched are our hers and will raise them in the flock, if there is enough room for all.

    ANY OTHER CHICKEN WILL KILL new baby chicks. It will be ugly fast.

    If you don't have a broody hen, then the best way is to add full grown chickens. Add more than one chicken at a time, it spreads out the pecking. Have some hideouts and multiple roosts, it should go pretty good.

    Mrs K
    2 people like this.
  4. Crysta

    Crysta In the Brooder

    Dec 30, 2013
    If you didn't hatch the chick yourself you should quarantine it. Store bought or hatchery bought chicks can carry illnesses that can harm your flock. I've heard of entire flocks dying from not quarantining foreign chicks/chickens.

    The method I use for my chicks is a keeping them in the brooder (in my garage, far away from the flock) until about 6 weeks old, I usually get two chicks at a time so they have a buddy with them when they are put into the flock. At 6 weeks they are usually big enough to defend themselves or get away from the older chickens. When putting them into the flock I put them in a large dog cage, or wire a section off of the coop where the new chickens and old chickens can watch the pecking order without being able to fight or touch each other. After four days I allow them to walk in and out of their area freely letting everyone free range. They get picked on but usually allowing them to free range distracts everyone so their isn't too much damage done to the newbies.

    If these are hens, I'd quarantine them for two weeks minimum, then use the same method of separate but visible to each other.

    I've been very careful with introducing new flock members, with this method not once have I had any blood. I must add, my chickens have always been introduced in pairs so that one chicken isn't taking all the damage.

    I hope this helps you!
    1 person likes this.

  5. OHalAnimalFarm

    OHalAnimalFarm In the Brooder

    Jan 23, 2014
    Los Angeles
    Super helpful. Thank you!!
  6. chickenluver555

    chickenluver555 Songster

    Apr 20, 2013
    I will do what Cyrsta said and wait until the chicks are older, because I do not have any broody hens. Thanks for the advice
  7. makrands

    makrands Hatching

    Feb 21, 2013
    Good advice. Will give your recommendation a try with my 9 wyndottes I'm mixing with 7 golden comets.

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