Adding chickens to my flock questions

1stepcloser

Poultry In Motion
10 Years
Sep 16, 2009
812
8
141
Dover, TN
I am so in love with my chickens. LOL I started with 2 and now have 6. We get half a dozen eggs a day and have learned eggs are a GREAT source of protein for my family. So much so that I want to add more chickens for my eggs! We have a large family (6 ppl) so eggs don't last very long around here. I am thinking my little flock should grow to around a dozen.

I want to practice good biosecurity but do not want to start from scratch w/hatching. If I keep them initially separated, would it be OK to bring in someone's half grown pullets? Would it be better to start with chicks? All opinions would be greatly appreciated.
 

PunkinPeep

Songster
10 Years
Mar 31, 2009
3,642
67
229
SouthEast Texas
Personal preference for me is to start with chicks. It seems to me that they are much less likely to have contracted some flock-slaughtering disease if they are younger, and i can trace their whereabouts. Day old chicks from someone you know (and trust) or a hatchery - or even through your feedstore keeps you from going through the agony of incubating your own eggs, but your chicks have had very little opportunity to get sick.

Also, if i were to get older chicks, specifically from someone whose place i don't know, i would personally want to quarantine longer than 30 days. Quarantining grown chicks is agonizing for me because you know they're miserable being all cooped up for all that time. Little chicks are easy because they need to be inside most of the time anyway, right?

Those are my 4 cents or so.
 

RockwaterFarm

Songster
9 Years
Feb 17, 2010
238
0
109
East Hartland, CT
I've heard that if you add them when it is dark in the coop the other chickens wouldn't realize they were there. what i do is i put the new chickens in a pen that the other chickens can see them through. then i gradually let them run around with the other chickens. first i'm watch them the whole time so the other chickens don't hert them. then i let them run around with them while i do yard and gradually work up to full time with the other chickens.
 

1stepcloser

Poultry In Motion
10 Years
Sep 16, 2009
812
8
141
Dover, TN
Oooh interesting (the night thing). I don't know if I have the patience to keep them separated for more than 30 days...I don't know why but that feels like forever in chicken years.
 

Dixiedoodle

Songster
12 Years
Apr 14, 2007
2,147
11
211
Believe me, it does feel like forever! LOL-- I acquired a stray chicken, I had her far away, in a small coop, up off the ground.. She was so lonely, she could hear the others, and would run the lenght of the pen, back and forth all day long, calling them.. It has been terrible cold and she had no one to snuggle with. I spent way more time, getting her and her little pen ready for bedtime and undoing it each morning than I spent on three days of my big coop.. Well, I finally moved her into the run, so they could see each other and be close during the day, at night she goes into a dog crate and it's put into the coop... it's been several days and one hen still wants to fight her, thru the fence... I am going to try to wait another few days then move her at night..

I do not want babies right now. I am too impatient--I went 'stir-crazy' waiting for my 'Point of Lay' pullets to lay----waiting 40 weeks --will seem like FOREVER! So, when I get more chickens, I will get four 18 to 20week olds at a time. That way they will have someone to snuggle with and not be so lonely....
 

Three Cedars Silkies

Crowing
11 Years
Apr 17, 2008
5,032
80
283
Gainesville, Fl.
Instead of adding pullets, I would try to find some nice 1 year old...or slightly less...hens. They can fend for themselves a little better. There is going to be some squawking and pecking so be prepared. I just added 3 hens to my flock of 11 hens yesterday and they are fine...but there was definitely some fighting and screaming going on. Let them out with the rest of the girls to free-range today and they all came in with the others tonight.

Now I have 3 others in quarantine for a few more days and have to go through the same thing over again


It's tough to watch, but generally they settle down within a couple of days. My pen (southern for coop) is 8 X 20 so it's plenty big for everyone to get out of a foe's way.
 

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