Adding new birds to an existing flock

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by JimnTer, Mar 15, 2012.

  1. JimnTer

    JimnTer Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 16, 2012
    I am wanting to expand my existing flock of laying hens. I will probably be adding juvenile or adult birds, not chicks. I have the space, thats not a concern. Any time I have added birds in the past there has been a major battle and my birds are stressed for several days, especially the new ones. I am looking for suggestions on how to introduce new birds to the flock without starting world war three in the coop. Lets hear what you have tried and how well it worked.
     
  2. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Apr 11, 2011
    Tn
    First off, I would quarantine your new birds for at least 30 days before you make any attempt at introductions. Keep them well enough away so that they don't even share any air space. When I've brought in big birds (which I haven't done in a long time), I keep them in a small hutch with an attached run inside my big run (after quarantine, of course ;) ). They stay in there for 2weeks or so. Everyone can see and chat through the fence, but no one can fight. They're also not trapped in the coop with the established flock in the mornings before I get up to let them out. After that, I let them out in the evenings during free range time for a couple of days. If that goes well, I stick them on the roost at night in the main coop and close up the hutch so they can't return. Sometimes I skip that last part though, but my flock is very laid back. Yours may not be. I think causing no stress is unavoidable, especially for the new birds. And no matter how much you babysit, there's always going to be some picking. Good luck with you newbies! What breed(s) are you considering?
     
  3. JimnTer

    JimnTer Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 16, 2012
    I have a mixed flock right now, 2 bantam Rhode Island Red hens and 1 rooster, 1 red jungle fowl hen and rooster and 4 red sex link hens. Oddly the roosters get along fine, its the red sex link hens that are overly aggressive with new additions. I realize that a certain amount of stress is inevitable, but these hens are aggressive to the point that they have killed new additions in the past. I am considering just getting rid of these 4 and starting a new flock. As for what the new birds will be, I have not made up my mind on that, other than I am looking for dual purpose birds. Possibly Buff Orpington or full sized Rhode Island reds. I have the jungle fowl for sale right now and won't be getting any new birds till they are gone.
     

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