Adding a new chicken?

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

  1. chickenluver555

    chickenluver555 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    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 Overrun With Chickens

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    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 Overrun With Chickens

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    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
     
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  4. Crysta

    Crysta Out Of The Brooder

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    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!
    Crysta
     
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  5. OHalAnimalFarm

    OHalAnimalFarm Out Of The Brooder

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    Super helpful. Thank you!!
     
  6. chickenluver555

    chickenluver555 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    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 New Egg

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

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