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Adding another chicken or two to a small flock...

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by operationindigo, Dec 1, 2013.

  1. operationindigo

    operationindigo Out Of The Brooder

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    I only currently keep two chickens as a starter flock right now. I wanted to start small, as I've never kept chickens before and didn't want to get overwhelmed. Now I feel a bit more confident and feel like I can expand to another hen or two. If I do decide to get another hen or two, what is the best way to introduce them? I'm looking to get hens around the same age as the two I already have - about 4-6 months or so is the age frame I'm looking for. I have all hens - should I worry about any fighting?
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    There will definitely be some pecking and squabbling as they establish the new pecking order. It's more likely to go smoothly if they have some time to watch and hear each other with a fence in between, although some people have successfully brought new birds in just by putting them on the roost just after dark, or even by mixing them while they are out and about, if they have plenty of space with hiding places, and maybe offering the distraction of a treat. More important is the issue of quarantine, especiallly with older birds. This is a good, short thread on the subject, and there is a link to a good article:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/803815/integrating-two-groups/0_20
     
  3. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    My original flock of five was the best flock of chickens anyone could ever have. They were sweet. They were smart. They could do no wrong. They were so wonderful that I decided to add a few more. That's when I learned that my sweet, beautiful girls had an ugly side...lol. They were NOT happy about the newbies. I think adding newbies to a really large flock is easier than adding to a small flock, because a newbie stands out so much more when you only have a few birds. It's like being a new kid in a really small school, or being a newbie in a school of 2000...the newbie in the big school is barely noticed. Usually it works itself out within a few months...as long as there's no bloodshed, be prepared for pecking and chasing.
     

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