Adding chickens to already small small flock....

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Ohylime, Feb 11, 2012.

  1. Ohylime

    Ohylime In the Brooder

    Feb 11, 2012
    Hacienda Hts, CA
    My Coop
    So, I want to keep my number of chickens to a minimum as much as possible. As of right now I have 2 chickens in :)! I raise both since they were chicks so they are extremely friendly. I have a Easter Egger hen and a Rhode Island red mix rooster ( didnt crow until this morning!) both around 7months

    So i wanted to add more chickens and I was wondering how I should add them since most of the stuff I read about is usually adding a large group into a already big flock. I am planning to add around 2-3 hens in the future. Probably no more than three because I dont want to overload myself. I was looking into barred rocks and buff orpingtons.

    I was wondering on what your opinions would be....
    -should i get babies and raise them first or get older birds?
    - My neighbor has 2 barred rock mix hens she was thinking about giving away
    - but i was thinking if i get 1 orpington and one barred rock chic I can raise them together and it would be like adding 2 chickens to 2 original chickens....
    - is there another breed you recommend??
    - How would I introduce them if their coop is pretty small and I am worried that the new birds wont go inside to sleep at night...

    Also if I get new chicks, I really just want no more than 3 so should i order 2? because i know they throw in extra chics. Am i even able to order than small of a number? thanks!

  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    Make a bigger coop.

    Add 4 or 5 hens the same age as the ones you've raised.

    You should get some Ameraucanas. [​IMG]
  3. jak2002003

    jak2002003 Crowing

    Oct 24, 2009
    It will be easier if you get new hens that are the same sort of age as yours.

    1. Keep the new ones away from yours for a few weeks to make sure they have no diseases that could spread to your birds.
    2. After this period put the hens into a large dog crate, or similar, and place it in the chickens run with your original birds . Then they can see and hear each other.
    3. After a week or when they seem not to be interested in each other, you can let the new ones out.
    4. There will be fighting, but just let them get on with it. They need to get the pecking order sorted. Only stop the fighting if you see blood or its going on for long time.
    5. That is it.

    If you want to raise more chicks it is fun, but more work for you and takes lot longer. When you introduce them to the flock do as above. (they need to be pullet size then). You will have problems with the rooster attacking the pullets trying to mate with them as there will then be a big age difference between your old birds and the new ones.

    Good Luck and let us all know what you decide.[​IMG]
  4. Ohylime

    Ohylime In the Brooder

    Feb 11, 2012
    Hacienda Hts, CA
    My Coop
    I guess I'm a little worried that if I get pullets they wont be as friendly with me? Because my boyfriend's chickens always run away and once they get out its difficult to catch. Where the chicks I raised are super friendly and follow us around when we are doing our gardening.

    Im thinking I want more eggs. And I wanted a variety of chickens and Im leaning toward orpington was pretty and the barred rock.
    Leghorns seem kinda ugly >.< lol But i was looking into Australorps as well?
  5. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Songster

    Aug 6, 2011
    Pacific North West

    Merging 2 Flocks Together

    There is a specific way to introduce them to each other for sure. Ages have a lot to do with it also? Pecking order has a lot to do with it? Over crowding is a big consideration. Feeding is the most competitive situation there is and the food is all about pecking order and regarding who gets first dibs and bragging rights. Is the Polish an older flock than the ones you have? If they are you stand a better chance at integration.

    Here is what I would do.
    #1 isolate (quarantine) the new birds to make sure of illnesses first for at least a week if not more. This allows you to get familiar with the new girls.

    #2 inspect them over the week or so to make sure there is no injuries already. Check the entire body for scraps scratches or any infection stuff.

    #3 Ask the old owner who is the first girl in the pecking order and next and so on so you knows who is the boss.

    #4 make time throughout the week or so to inspect each birds stool to see if its runny, bug infested, solid or if there is blood in any of the birds.

    #5 find out what are the new kids favorite foods so you can bribe them to you.

    #6 they need to know and understand where is there new home so they need to be not only locked in the new coop/run/brooder during the day all day while the regular hens are around.

    #7 build a chicken divider from the furthest place in the coop right up to the door of the coop and put the new on one side and the old on the other side but at night you need to carry the new girls to a temp sleeper so the old girls can go to their own coop/run/sleeper. You do not want them being disturbed daily cycle wise.

    #8 put coop food/water exactly opposite the other sides food/water so they see each other every day after the first week or so quarantine time while eating. Why, food is the most competitive time and the survival of the fittest comes into play and they will hurt and pull feathers and peck to the point of hurting and drawing blood maintain the pecking order that is in place.

    #9 week 3 after a max 2 week lock down in the temp side you will let them in the run together supervised and in the run as the referee between the 2 or 3 or even 4 top of the pecking order birds. You may just want to put the lower of the old group in the temp side of the coop supervised to see if they will be confrontational if not let them run around in the run but to bribe them and come back in the coop with bribes of favorite foods like mill worms or whatever if they will be good girls.

    #10 start letting them in the 3 week time or 4th week start interacting together without you and your have done your part and great job. Its not always easy but look for fights or disputes but your really done merging 2 flocks safely.

    Best of luck to you.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2012
  6. Ohylime

    Ohylime In the Brooder

    Feb 11, 2012
    Hacienda Hts, CA
    My Coop
    I think Im going to purchase a few new chicks and raise them to the right size. Then introduce them slowly :)
    Maybe also have my boyfriend build me a bigger coop
  7. Ohylime

    Ohylime In the Brooder

    Feb 11, 2012
    Hacienda Hts, CA
    My Coop
    Or should I wait til my hen gets broody and sneak in some chick?? Do easter eggers become broody often?

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