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Adding chickens to my flock! Help!!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by FirstLadiesClub, Nov 13, 2013.

  1. FirstLadiesClub

    FirstLadiesClub In the Brooder

    Apr 18, 2013
    We are heading over the the local 4H Poultry auction tomorrow and are hoping to buy 2-3 more chickens to add to our flock. We currently have 4 hens and 1 rooster. I've been reading as much as I can but haven't been able to find specific answers to my questions. Hopefully y'all can provide some input. The birds we are going to buy are going to have blood drawn right in front of us to guarantee no illness is already preexisting so my questions are

    Is it ok to just put the new birds straight into the coop when we get home if it'll be after dark when we get there?
    We have a dog pen we can set up in a separate out building if necessary.

    Do we have to lock the new birds in the coop with the preexisting flock? If so, how can we guarantee that there won't be any fighting going on in there??

    If we wait until the next day to add them to the run is there a specific way to introduce them? Or do we just throw them in and let nature take its course.

    Any info on these questions and any other helpful tips anyone has on this issue will be greatly appreciated!!

  2. farmchickutah

    farmchickutah In the Brooder

    Sep 4, 2013
    I just added 9 new hens into my flock of 60 now making 69. I just put them in and they were just fine. There was a little bit of sizing each other up for a few days but they are just fine now!
  3. Pathfinders

    Pathfinders Crowing

    Jan 25, 2008
    Northern KY
    This post is formatting oddly. I hope you can see my reply.

    The blood you will see being drawn is likely only to test for Pullorum/Typhoid, it won't test for any other illness.
    No, you should not add the new birds to your coop. You should quarantine them from your existing birds for at least four weeks.
    Once the quarantine is over, you can perhaps house the new birds next to the old ones so they can see each other, but not interact yet. Then after about a week of that, you can integrate them AT NIGHT, to keep fighting the next morning to a minimum.
  4. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    Blood is usually drawn from chickens to test for Pullorum disease. I doubt that the blood drawing will tell you if they are completely disease free, only if they are free of Pullorum. There are many diseases that chickens can harbor, like CRD, and not show any outward symptoms. I would isolate the new birds for two weeks before introducing them to your flock.

    When you introduce the two groups of birds, I'd let them be in an open space (if your flock has a run, put them in there). Just locking them into the coop will make them likely fight. No matter what, there will be some fighting. Your goal is just to make it less serious. You can accomplish this by giving them enough room, and by letting them see each other before introducing. If you can, put the new birds in a pen/crate in the run or area of the old birds for a few days before introducing. That way, they'll be able to see each other, but not injure each other.
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  5. FirstLadiesClub

    FirstLadiesClub In the Brooder

    Apr 18, 2013
    Did you quarantine them at all??? I'm seeing a lot of posts about quarantine for 15-30 days
  6. I never introduce less than three new birds as that collectively reduces any one new bird being excessively singled out.
    You do read stories of birds being pecked mercilessly and the blood rush taking over also of chicks being picked on or huddling together and suffocating but that has never happened to me.

    I never introduce newly purchased birds directly that is asking for trouble because you do not know the health of the new birds
    Isolate them for a couple of weeks and watch for signs of illness or diseases.

    We bought 17 birds from the Oswestry Poultry Auction on 26th September.
    They had spent the day with all the other birds in the sale in an open room.
    They all came home in the car in cardboard boxes so trying to keep any issues they may have been sold with or picked up on the day isolated was near impossible

    Sure enough slowly over the following week (as it is now damp and cold at night and ideal times for runny noses) many of them had developed mild respiratory infections and all are now getting over a collective round of antibiotics (tylan)
    Any one of them could have been ill prior to the auction or became infected on the day and it would have soon spread to the others.

    They are recovering now and when I introduce them to the flock probably next weekend it will be in two stages first they can mix in the field for a week but return to their quarantine coop at night if they wish.

    Some won't, my four Apenzellar Spitzhaubens immediately took a liking to my Splash Orpington Roo and a Vorwerk Hen and followed them to their coop where they have stayed ever since.

    Typically I do new introduction coop changes en-mass late one afternoon. or evening as it is getting dusk.
    The trick of lobbing them in a dark coop last thing does work!
    I have a large run and three big coops feed in to it. To date we have never had any really bad issues with new introductions once the initial pecking order is established

    As said my flock free ranges so whilst most of them are still in the field I will put the rest or all of the new birds in the closed and run let them discover their new surroundings in peace but this time they can't get back to their quarantine coop. Come evening when the main flock return to roost often the new birds are already on perches the scuffles are minor and come morning the scuffles are brief as all the birds want out into the field.

    I do get up earlier on new introduction mornings though just to get them all out in the field asap.

    There always one or two though that will for a few days be disorientated and try to get back into quarantine so those need to be put to bed.
  7. FirstLadiesClub

    FirstLadiesClub In the Brooder

    Apr 18, 2013
    I noticed that the format of this post was a little strange I'm glad you were able to view them. From what I have been told a representative from the usda will be on site to test each bird by pulling a wing and taking a scraping. I've been told that checks for multiple diseases. Is this the type of testing you all are referring to or do I still need to quarantine the new birds???

  8. PS
    If the birds you buy are definitely POL or older i.e. red faces and combs etc your Roo will take an interest in them and may even look after them.
    If they are not POL your alpha Hen will be the one that decides their pecking order as the Roo won't be that interested in them yet.
  9. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    There are a ton of threads and posts here with the same questions.






    post 17 in the next thread
    1 person likes this.
  10. FirstLadiesClub

    FirstLadiesClub In the Brooder

    Apr 18, 2013

    You have definitely answered a lot of my concerns I appreciate it so much! My main concern at this point I guess would be that we will be getting home late that evening. So I'm assuming my best bet would be to keep them separate until the next morning??

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