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adding hens

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by kasey08, Jul 30, 2010.

  1. kasey08

    kasey08 Aunt Kasey's Farm 8 Years

    Mar 29, 2010
    Scottsboro, AL
    ok i have 2 hens and 1 roo i'm adding 2 more hens. i would have them in a pen beside the other so they can see each other for how long? and when i do put them in i do it at night right? btw is that a good hen to roo ratio? 4/1?
  2. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    It is highly recommended you quarantine new birds for at least 30 days, and that's AWAY from your original flock.

    After quarantine, I would set them up so they have a portion of the run, and they have a smallish "meet & greet" type coop of their own. Mine are kept there for 2 weeks, before I remove the temporary fence segregating the new chickens from the originals.

    It's a better hen to roo ratio than 2 to 1. [​IMG]

    10 hens to 1 rooster is an ideal ratio to ensure egg fertility. If you don't care if all the eggs are fertile (don't intend to hatch any), then you could have 100 hens to 1 roo if you wanted!
  3. chics in the sun

    chics in the sun Songster

    Apr 1, 2010
    I'm not sure about the hen/roo ratio, I think it partially depends on the roo. They say you should quarentine new birds for at least a month. I didn't, but it is recomended. I had mine where they could see eachother for a week, then let them free-range together and go back into the coop together that evening. There was minimal pecking, no bloodshed. Just some ruffled feathers, but that is to be expected.
    That night I checked on them, and I will always remeber it being one of the most pitiful things I've ever seen. The three original girls in the flock were all bunched up together on the roost, with the poor new girl sleeping on the floor at their feet. [​IMG]
    She is still pretty much at the bottom of the pecking order, not quite an accepted member of the clique, but there is no fighting. I'm hoping to introduce another 'new girl' in a few weeks that she can buddy up with (hopefully).
  4. kasey08

    kasey08 Aunt Kasey's Farm 8 Years

    Mar 29, 2010
    Scottsboro, AL
    nvm i saw you already answered that. all i have is a pen beside the other pen but only the small side can see each other (its long ways)
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2010
  5. kasey08

    kasey08 Aunt Kasey's Farm 8 Years

    Mar 29, 2010
    Scottsboro, AL
    Quote:aww that is sad lol i wish you luck finding her a buddy
  6. araceli

    araceli In the Brooder

    Jul 8, 2011
    Oh I so messed up. Got two new chickens on Tuesday evening to add to the sex link and plymoth. The two new ones are farerolle and araucana. I put them together in the coop that night. The new ones slept on the bottom. Next day I let them out together and the nightmare began. The original ones mistreated them pulling out the faverolles feather sometimes 5 at time. HORRID. Then that night the newbie flew off to a rooftop to roost. I got the faverolle back and was unable to get the araucana and she slept outside. The 3rd night they all slept upstairs. Today until about one the newbies stayed upstairs and just came down a little while ago. The others are out running around. Any ideas for reparation? I feel terrible, and now worse after reading this. Poor babies, I want to comfort them and make them feel welcome. thanks in advance.[​IMG]
  7. misterhandsome

    misterhandsome In the Brooder

    Jul 3, 2011
    Kemptville, Ontario
    I added three new hens (polish, plymouth rock, cochin to replace the ones the predator took) and a rooster (for protection, though some don't think he'll add much) to my three hens (two ameraucana, one orpington). They all came from the same place within two weeks of eachother, so I wasn't concerned about disease, infection, etc. All the hens are around the same age and the size, and the rooster is easily four times their size.

    I introduced the four new birds in the evening and had absolutely no problems at all. Added some stress-ease to their water to help with the adjustment.

    My theory is that bringing the rooster at the same time balanced everything out. The original birds respected him immediately, and because the three hens came with him they weren't picked on. I panicked for a moment as I thought Big Nasty (the rooster, though he's gentle with his girls) was attacking one of the two hens who have started laying, but chuckled when I realized it was only his version of romance!

    I'd read here and elsewhere that you need ten hens to a rooster or he'll torment the poor girls, but I haven't seen that at all. The first night the original three were shy to go in their coop as the new birds had already gone in there, but two days later everybody is chillin'. They're all inside and high up on their roosts before dusk.

    I'm new to this and others know a lot more than me, but from my experience size does matter as the new birds will need to be able to defend themselves, and introducing a third variable - in my case the rooster - can help prevent the resident birds from focusing on the newbies.
  8. Jeffross1968

    Jeffross1968 Songster

    May 14, 2011
    Smoky Mountains
    Quote:Yeah, this is going to be my biggest question coming up...regarding size and how big they should be when I introduce the 4 new ones to the rest. I was told when I got them that they were 12 weeks, though they seemed pretty small to me for 12 weeks. That said, in the week we've had them, they've exploded in size. I think they were underfed and not very well taken care of by their previous owner. I'd like to get them in there before the last new group is fully integrated and laying and has to go through the period of no laying. But I don't want to rush.

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