Adding new birds to the flock?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by SwedishDude99, Jan 22, 2014.

  1. SwedishDude99

    SwedishDude99 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi everyone!!! :frow I'm looking to add a couple more birds to my flock due to the deaths of two of my five hens. One of my hens, however, used to rip out feathers from my other hens. She is no longer top chicken, and after putting some things for them to do in the coop, she has stopped. So, my question is this: do you guys think that adding more birds would raise her status in the pecking order and maybe trigger her to start ripping out feathers again? And also, should I add birds to the flock that are more on the submissive side or the dominant side? Thanks for any answers you guys can give!! :D
     
  2. Nutcase

    Nutcase Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Short answer: yes. It's rare that newbies climb the pecking order immediately so your aggressive hen will automatically go up a notch. When adding one new bird (which is usually a bad idea either way) bolder is better. Adding multiple birds at one time is better so they can support each other as well as being familiar faces to one another. The personalities aren't crucial, but don't go for timid or flighty birds. If you're currently keeping medium to large hens, I wouldn't recommend getting small additions! It's good that you have things for them to do in the coop...that's important for integration processes do they don't focus on the new birds. I know it sounds complicated! but I hope it helps you out.
     
  3. SwedishDude99

    SwedishDude99 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks! That DEFINATELY helps. I'm seriously considering just getting rid of the offending bird since she has never caused anything but trouble and she has never even layed an egg, even though they are a year old! She is our friendliest bird towards people though, and my seven year old sister absolutely loves her. My little sister is the only reason we keep her simply because she would be devastated if that bird died. Anyway, i will decide what I'm going to do with that bird and go from there! thanks again! :D
     
  4. Nutcase

    Nutcase Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No problem...good luck with your flock!
     
  5. lelander12

    lelander12 Out Of The Brooder

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    hi I am getting 2 new chicks because of the death of 2 of my other ones by a raccoon! I get my chicks a day old and raise them in a box for a month then put them outside but i don;t know how to add them to my other 4 full grown chickens. Please help me and I am considering to not even get new chicks this spring because of all the bad thing i have heard about of adding newbies. Is this a wise choice to not get nwew ones or is it possible to introduce them without a fight?

    Please help me>>>>>>>[​IMG][​IMG]
     
  6. SwedishDude99

    SwedishDude99 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi and :welcome!!! It isn't possible to introduce the birds without them scuffling a little bit, but it won't necessarily mean them trying to kill each other. It can get to that point, but then again it may not. It should mostly be chasing and pecking. As long as there is no blood it's fine. If you have another area you can keep the chicks outside for longer than a month, you'll be better off. I wouldn't let a month old chick in with the adult hens. Wait until hey are at least two or three months. Having said that, the best way to introduce them is outside the coop on what would be "neutral territory". This will minimalize the fighting, as it's nobody's territory and will give the birds plenty of new things to keep their attention. If you have read the few other posts on this thread, you'll see that I just introduced an adult hen to he other adults. I managed to do it successfully and after just a week, they are living happily. I have also just went to the feed store last week and purchased two day-old chicks. So it's very possible to introduce new birds to an existing flock. If you do decide to get some chicks, make a new thread asking for help first and they can give you advice based on your specific situation. Hope this helps! :D
     
  7. lelander12

    lelander12 Out Of The Brooder

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    thanks I am now considering even more about new chicks.

    Helps a lot[​IMG]
     
  8. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    Lelander12: Will you be able to separate the new birds in the run and coop for a while when you move them out?

    SweedishDude99: If you do decide to get rid on the nasty hen, don't feel guilty about it. As she has been knocked off the top run of the pecking order, expect her to use the addition of newbies as an opportunity to establish her dominance. Often the less dominant hens are harder on the newbies than the Alpha hen.
     
  9. lelander12

    lelander12 Out Of The Brooder

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    Well i have all very nice chickens none of them hurt each other I am just a little concerned about how the older chickens adopt to having older ones
    Thanks,
    Lelander12
     
  10. SwedishDude99

    SwedishDude99 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Even if your chickens are nice, they will not be so when you start to introduce new birds. There are varying degrees as far as how far they will take establishing the new pecking order. They will most likely accept the new bird(s) after a few days to a couple weeks, but there is always the possibility that you older birds will injure your new birds and en they will need to be seperated. This will obviously extend the integration time. I would go for it though. My hens have already accepted the adopted hen and it's only been about a week. It sounds like you will be introducing multiple birds at once, which will make the process easier too.
     

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