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adding new chix, but I only have 2 originals..........

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by baarf, Nov 29, 2014.

  1. baarf

    baarf New Egg

    2
    0
    7
    Jun 3, 2012
    Surprise Arizona
    Hi Guys!
    I admit to being a lurker here for the last two years.
    My grandson wanted chicks, so guess who got the coop?
    SO we have had our 3 chickens for the last 2 years, and just recently one passed away (we had here to the vet and he said he could find nothing wrong, just doing poorly, then we found her dead one morning)
    So we are thinking of adding a couple of Americana's for some color (we currently have red hens and brown eggs)

    I have read extensively here and that has brought success to my little flock, but I don't see any specific experience for a flock as small as mine.

    So 2 current 2 year old hens, of generally good nature, and we want to add 3 new chickens, closer to 12 weeks.
    Suggestions?


    Thank you!

    baarf (me)
     
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    32,674
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    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Here's some notes I've taken on integration that I found to be very helpful.
    See if any of them, or the links provided, might offer some tips that will assist you in your situation:


    Integration of new chickens to flock.


    Consider medical quarantine:
    BYC Medical Quarantine Article
    Poultry Biosecurity
    BYC 'medical quarantine' search

    Confine new birds within sight but physically segregated from older/existing birds for several weeks, so they can see and get used to each other but not physically interact. Integrating new birds of equal size works best.

    For smaller chicks I used a large wire dog crate right in the coop for the smallers. I removed the crate door and put up a piece of wire fencing over the opening and bent up one corner just enough for the smallers to fit thru but the biggers could not. Feed and water inside the crate for the smallers. Make sure the smallers know how to get in and out of the crate opening before exposing them to the olders. this worked out great for me, by the time the crate was too small for the them to roost in there(about 3 weeks), they had pretty much integrated themselves to the olders.

    If you have too many smallers to fit in a crate you can partition off part of the coop with a wire wall and make the same openings for smallers escape.


    The more space, the better. Birds will peck to establish dominance, the pecked bird needs space to get away. As long as there's no blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down, let them work it out. Every time you interfere or remove new birds, they'll have to start the pecking order thing all over again.

    Multiple feed/water stations. Dominance issues are most often carried out over sustenance, more stations lessens the frequency of that issue.

    Places for the new birds to hide out of line of sight and/or up and away from any bully birds.

    Read up on integration..... BYC advanced search>titles only>integration
    This is good place to start reading:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/adding-to-your-flock
     

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