Adding New Chooks

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by LeonieJane, Feb 3, 2012.

  1. LeonieJane

    LeonieJane Out Of The Brooder

    Hello All,

    We currently have 3 chooks (2 isa browns & 1 white sussex) and we are thinking about adding a couple of Australorp chooks...is there likely to be any issues adding them to the existing coup we already have?

    Cheers

    Leonie
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Will there be issues? Almost certainly. But remember that many of us do things like that all the time and it usually works well.

    There is a lot I don't know about your specific situation, such as ages and sexes of the chickens and how much room you have, so I can't get too specific. In general, the more room you have the easier it is.

    You have three different types of aggression to consider. If you have two or more roosters, they will determine which one is dominant. Sometimes this is a fight to the death, but often this fighting turns into chasing and running away pretty quickly. They usually reach an accommodation and work together to protect the flock. But occasionally one gets seriously hurt or killed.

    Chickens can be territorial. When I say "can", this does not mean it will happen each and every time without fail, but it might happen. If chickens not recognized as part of the flock show up, the flock may try to run them off. This is where housing them side by side where they can see each other for a week or so before you let them mix often helps a bunch.

    The third type of possible agression is pecking order. This you will almost certainly see. They are social animals and just like a herd of cattle or a pack of wolves, they need to know their place in their society. That way they can live together peacefully and they know how to act around each other. But sometimes determining this can be pretty violent. Sometimes.

    With all three of these types of possible aggression, sometimes it gets really violent and sometimes it goes so smoothly you wonder what all the worry was about.

    One twist on the pecking order is that mature chickens always rank higher than immature chickens. Once the immature ones mature enough that they can establish their own position in the pecking order, it is no longer an issue, but until that happens, some of the mature chickens will peck any immature chicken that invades its personal space. The immature chickens quickly learn to stay away from the older chickens. That's why you can expect to sort of see two different flocks for a while if you try to integrate young chickens in a mature flock and why space is so important. In this stage especially, it helps to have different feeding and watering places so they can all eat and drink without conflict.

    Hope this helps a bit. Remember we do it a lot so don't get too discouraged. Good luck!!
     

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