Adding chickens to my current flock

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by pikecochickens, Jun 1, 2012.

  1. pikecochickens

    pikecochickens In the Brooder

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    Jun 1, 2012
    Hi, we are first time chicken owners. So far we only have two chickens that are 4 weeks old. They are Ameraucana's and it appears as though we have a cockrel and a pullet. We would like to add at least two more chickens (hens) to our flock, if you even call it that, with just two chickens. :) My question is, is it easier to add two more now, while our other two chickens are young? I have heard that it is difficult to add chickens to an older, more established flock. And should I get some more chickens around the same age or does it matter?
    One more question... my husband is interested in getting another set of hens that are a different breed than Ameraucana. Is there a breed that we should look into getting that would be compatible in temperment to the Ameraucana's? I don't want anyone to get severely picked on by having different breeds. A most agreeable chicken is what I am going for. My Ameraucana's are mostly calm. They don't want to be picked up very often, but they don't act crazy and they are very close to each other. Sleeping with their heads resting on each others backs and snuggled up together, but they WILL snatch a worm from each other if necessary. ;)

    Thanks!
     
  2. 4CrazyEggs

    4CrazyEggs In the Brooder

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    Mar 19, 2012
    My chickens are anywhere from 16-20 weeks and we have added to our flock on three different occasions. We have 7 hens. We started with (4) 1 week old Rhode Island reds and when there were about 6 weeks old we got two 8 week old Plymouth Barred Rocks. We put the BR's in a brooder next to the RIR for a week or so before letting them in run with each other. They had no real pecking order issues. We found out one of the RIR's was a roo when he was about 8 weeks and we re homed him and picked up a Easter Egger and a Buff Orpington. They were about the same size and age as the BR's. They got pecked and chased a bunch for 5-7 days without drawing blood and now have settled in. The two share the last spot in the pecking order for sure and tussle between themselves for the last spot every now and again. It is funny in the beginning the two seemed to not get along but still went in to the coop together with the rest and perched right next to each other. Then when they were let out in the AM they would start the pecking. I am glad that it has all for the most part settled down with exception of the small staring matches and quick pecks here and there. They all eat together and roost together. When they free range in our backyard the seem to stay with others of like breed. Been really great to watch. They love crickets from the pet store and forget all about pecking order when we hand them out. ;)

    I think the one with the best disposition is the Buff Orp and the BR's. The RIR seem pushy and more aggressive and the EE seems timid and stand-offish.

    Hope this helps! I know I have read many times that establishing the pecking order as brutal as it mat look is the way things have to happen as long as they are not injuring each other.
     

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