Adding another hen? Advice needed!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Astrid, Jan 9, 2008.

  1. Astrid

    Astrid Chillin' With My Peeps

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    129
    Dec 30, 2007
    Connecticut
    Hello,
    I have a small flock of four hens: two Buff Orpingtons and two Barred Plymouth Rocks. They "hatched" together, and we got them from a friend at 12 weeks old. They are now 8 months old, and get along wonderfully. They're all really friendly and social, and there is never any nastiness or hostility, at least that we can discern. I'm sure there must be a "pecking order" but the dynamic is really calm and well-adjusted.

    We'd like to add another hen or two; maybe an Araucauna for the blue eggs. However, I don't want to upset the apple cart, so to speak. I like the peace and harmony that exists now---- is it hard to introduce a new bird? I've heard that it should be done in pairs-- get two of the same kind so that they have a buddy to hang with.

    What do you think? Any suggestions or reassurances would be most appreciated!

    Astrid
     
  2. Frozen Feathers

    Frozen Feathers Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 4, 2007
    Maine
    I think one of the easiest ways to introduce birds it to have the newbie in an area in the coop where your other girls can see her, but not hurt her.

    If you can have supervised free-ranging sessions, I find them very helpful. They can interact in a somewhat neutral area and if they get out of hand, you're right there to step in. Usually it doesn't take too long for them to get along and I haven't had any brawls using either method as of yet.
     
  3. lurky

    lurky Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2007
    Western MA
    I would not get less than 2 if i could help it. The established birds will put the newbie in its place at the bottom and it would be easier if the poor thing had a friend. When i introduced a rooster to my flock, i kept him seperate for a while. I would introduce him for a few minutes at a time. the girls were sooooo mean. Then after 4 or 5 short intro's.....they began getting used to him. I would say its a good idea to have a place to remove the newbies to get a break. I'm sure you will get alot of good ideas on here from other peoples experiences. Good Luck!!
     
  4. Henrietta23

    Henrietta23 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 20, 2007
    Eastern CT
    Quote:We've done both these things and never have added just one new one at a time as Lurky says. There may be some squabbles at first but it has always worked out after just a little while. We have a small flock like you do.
     
  5. McGoo

    McGoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    I recently added to my flock of 4 who never pecked and I have mixed reviews. I got 2 BOs and 2 Easter Eggers for the blue eggs.

    The original group has definitely been mean tothe newcomers. But at least the newcomers had each other.

    I will not do this again...because of the fighting and the potential for disease.

    What I will do is get eggs this spring to add to my flock. I'll place them under a broody hen and hope for the best. [​IMG]

    All the best with your new ones.

    ps. I would strongly recommend keeping them separate for about a month to ensure that they are healthy. Also, make sure you can check them out in advance and know that they have been well cared for. Get recommendations. You never know how well they've been carried for.
     
  6. McGoo

    McGoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    ps. hinkjc is selling Americauna eggs - that's an option.
     

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