Adding more new chickens to new flock?

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Julieschicks

Songster
Jun 17, 2016
149
140
111
Pearland, TX
We got our first chickens a couple weeks ago. 3 pullets that are currently 3.5-4mo old. As soon as our big coop is complete (another 1-2 weekends and it will be ready) we want to add 3-4 more chickens. We will get them from the same place as our first ones and they will be roughly the same age, 3-4mo old. Will I still need to do a slow integration of the new ones? They will all move into the new coop at the same time, will all be roughly the same age, and we’ll have only had the original 3 about a month at that time. Can we put them all in together right away and let them work it out, or should we go ahead and separate the new ones at first?
 
If they are all going to be new to the coop, then the only issue you have with putting them all in at once, is the possibility of cross infection if either group have any diseases/parasites etc. If they are coming from the same source, that is less likely but still possible. If I were in your situation, I, personally, would put them all in at once but I am sure you will get differing opinions....it's personal choice really.

Most integration problems are as a result of a new group joining the established territory of an existing group which is not the case here. When I got my six girls, I got them all from the same breeder but she had separate breeding pens and I have three different breeds so they had never met each other or even seen each other through a fence.

When I got them home, I put them all in together and they immediately behaved like an established group does when in a new coop....they huddled closely together in a corner for a while and then gradually began to explore as a group, with a 'lead' bird showing the initiative and the rest following suit. This 'lead bird' was one of the cochins who, for the first two or three days, was first to go anywhere or try anything new and the rest followed, but within a week, a different girl, a brahma, had taken the lead and is now the dominant hen but the whole process was remarkably easy because there was no pecking order to begin with so everyone just kind of slotted into place.
 
They will all move into the new coop at the same time, will all be roughly the same age, and we’ll have only had the original 3 about a month at that time.
Could work very well as it removes the 'territoriality' aspect of integration which really is the base of all integration problems.
Best of cLuck...let us know how it works out!
 
I would just put them all together, in a new place they will be more afraid of that than each other, put them in the run close to dark, and they will have it solved by noon the next day is my prediction
 
Agreed, personal choice and your comfort level regarding biosecurity. I keep a closed flock, but if that were not my policy, I would just put them all into the new coop on the same day and let them duke it out. This assuming the coop has at least 4 s.f./bird and an attached run that you can let them into as well.
 
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