Adding new chickens to a flock of four

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by GracieMarie, Aug 6, 2011.

  1. GracieMarie

    GracieMarie Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 21, 2011
    We have four chickens about 18 weeks, 2 golden comets and 2 easter eggers. 1 comet is laying. Anyway we so enjoy our chickens and are really regretting not getting more as we are a family of 8. How hard would it be to add 2 more chickens of about the same age? The local farm where we got them from has some for sale. Everything has been just perfect with these four and they are the best of friends and I can't even see a pecking order. Wondering if I should rock the boat or not. Also considering just waiting until next spring and getting some chicks then as the kids really did enjoy the chicks. Thoughts?

    Also thank you for this board. Life is so busy and stressful and it is high on my favorite things to do to come and read here about everyones experiences.
  2. Pinky

    Pinky Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 15, 2008
    South GA
    You can try to introduce the new birds in a cage where the others can see them but not harm them. After you see if they get along with each other you could try putting them together and it should go ok but you really won't know how it will work out until you try it. Good luck with what you choose to do.
  3. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    Go slowly. Chickens can be brutal to new comers. You'll need a separate area for them to live but still share a fenceline with the original flock. I usually separate the run so they can share space. It's easier integrating several new birds versus just one so you'll have that in your favor. Just be prepared that when you do finally put them together there will still be some fighting. Keep a close eye to make sure it doesn't get out of hand.
  4. FeistyChikin

    FeistyChikin Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 2, 2011
    Cove City, NC
    I hated integrating new chickens to my flock. I did keep them separate for weeks, but still had some fighting and pecking going on. It is just natural. I actually ended up taking out the one picking on the new chickens (one was worse than the others) and leaving that one separate from the flock for awhile until everybody was cool with each other. Then when I re-introduced that one back it was just happy to be back. It did take a couple weeks for all to settle down.
  5. Auscal

    Auscal Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 29, 2010
    I'm not expert on chicken integration (I'm having my own problems with it at the moment) but, from what I have read and learned, it is better if the chickens are all the same size. Based on that, if you did want more, it may be easier to add two of the same age now, than try to integrate much younger babies next year. JMHO. Also, that way you will have more eggs sooner, becasue once you start eating your "home-grown" eggs store bought eggs are not going to taste good at all [​IMG]
  6. JayneMae

    JayneMae Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 6, 2011
    I agree with Auscal. We got some 2 month old chicks and attempted to integrate them with our 5 month olds (one was laying). yeah, that didn't work out so well. the one that wasn't laying actually started to do the most pecking. We separated them where they can still see each other and be close to each other, but the have their own spaces where they can't really touch unless one decided to be stupid and puts it's face through the little squares in the fencing. they are now about 3 and 6 months old and we plan on putting them together at about 4 and 7 months old, when they should be about the same size, as i've read too that it helps the transition. we should also have the new run and coop set up at about that time where they will have a lot more room and we can just try to throw them all together into a new area that no one has "claimed". Another thing that i have read is to try free ranging them together or introducing the younger ones after sundown into the same coop. it didn't work out for us, but it's possible it will for one of you other readers out there! good luck!
  7. karlamaria

    karlamaria Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 30, 2011
    Western montana
    We plan to add 10 more next year, but instead of adding them to our home, we are building a coop at moms and raising them there. We realize now we needed about 4 more, but it's to late in the year, and I do not want to go through all the hen pecking lol, so next year new coop and run, and more chickens . Mom is ok with it and dad will I'm sure be ok with it, now for all there cats to agree !
  8. ECBW

    ECBW Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 12, 2011
    I believe you got the right idea to bring in birds of the same size. Also, one strategy is to sneak the new birds in at night. To produce enough eggs for 8 people, you might consider having at least the same number or more of birds.
  9. umanduhbree

    umanduhbree Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 6, 2011
    Lacona, IA
    Since you are buying chickens from another farm, you may want to consider setting up a quarantine zone for a while. We made a separate area using a dog run just to make sure that the birds were healthy and wouldn't contaminate my first flock. this was a little more of an issue with larger numbers, but it would be better to catch a sick bird than have to take care of all of them. You don't have to do this for too long, but it's just a cautionary step. Integration is not an easy process. Good luck.
  10. CheekyChooks

    CheekyChooks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2011
    We had two chickens who grew up together and wanted two more so we got two adult chickens of about the same age. It wen't well immediately and I think that is because they were the same age, the numbers were even (eg - 2 vs 2) and they were still young enough (18 weeks) to not be too set in their ways. Plus they like being in a 'flock' and I think the found it a little boring being in just a pair.

    Hope all goes well for you ... Im sure it will

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