Adding new birds to last years flock

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Thunder Bay Chicken, Feb 2, 2012.

  1. Thunder Bay Chicken

    Thunder Bay Chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 21, 2010
    North of Thunder Bay
    Hi doing my spring order for chicks I decided to call the place I got my birds from last year. I asked about adding a new flock to old and they told me no problem, just make sure the new birds are old enough to defend themselves... like 4months old.

    The problem with that however is the birds will be ready to leave the brooder at 2 months old so I now have to build a temporary coop for the extra two months? (which I really do not want to do.)

    Anyone with multiple chicken flocks or experience adding new birds to current flock is 4 months the min?

    Is there another option?

  2. nwfl

    nwfl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 4, 2011
    Northwest Florida
    i have many birds and get chicks to freshen flocks. i always brood my chicks safely and provide a seperate coop as they out grow each area that is along the side of the layer pen. then before they begin laying, after our ladies are out ranging, we let new girls into layer run to check out the facilities for a few days. when we introduce new birds into the group we do it at a time when we are home for a couple of days like weekends, and leave the pullet coop open for some weeks. we have over 50 layers now and some old ladies in our layer flock, 20 chicks due in march.

    it really depends on how many birds and your setup. give some more info on your situation so people can advise.
  3. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    For the best results, 16 weeks is best.

    Sometimes you can "get away" with a little earlier depending on the aggressiveness of the older hens. However, it is generally recommended that they are about the same size as the older ones.

    If you aren't set up for this, if you only have a few new ones, you can rig up some daytime pen with sun/wind/rain protection for them. Put them in a dog crate inside the main coop at night so they won't get killed.

    Aggressive older hens can and will kill young sweet things as they will hide their faces and put their tushies in the air as they are pecked to death. This is still true at 8 weeks of age and even later.

    Literally every week you wait gives them a better chance to show the older hens they won't submit to abuse. A 10 week old acts different than a 6 week old, and on and on.

    If you have exceptionally gentle older hens (as I have had on occasion), you might get away with integrating earlier, such as at 3 months. Or even 2 1/2. BUT if you try this, sit in the yard for 2 hours after you put them together and observe. If the younger ones are not able to fend them off or especially the pecking continues and the aggressor doesn't back off immediately, get them out of there as fast as you can.

    If you have only a couple of youngsters and a nice large flock of older ones, don't even try it until they are 16 weeks IMO as they don't stand a chance with them being a tiny flock going in with a large flock.

    IF you have a large younger flock this is the best situation as the older hens just get tired of attacking all these youngsters they find all. over. the. place. They just get weary of being the bad guy is my theory.

    Buff Hooligans had this awesome page on adding to the flock but with the new platform you might have trouble finding it.
  4. Thunder Bay Chicken

    Thunder Bay Chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 21, 2010
    North of Thunder Bay
    Thx for reply, no worries... got the wifes approval to build new coop/run. This is now a non issue, Despite the fact I did not want to build this year I firgured to hell with it! Why not?

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