Adding new hens to the flock

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by redlink, Dec 16, 2014.

  1. redlink

    redlink Out Of The Brooder

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    I have 6 red sex link hens ( Rhode Island Red/ Rhode Island White cross) that are 8 months old. What breed will be compatible with mine if I can't find the same that I have now. I am looking to add 4-6 more. When I do, should they be seperated, and if so for how long. My girls have been laying constantly for about 3 months. Will the new additions disrupt their laying eggs?
     
  2. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

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    You can really add any breed you would like. Buff orpingtons are my personal favorite. They are docile, affectionate, great layers and get along well with other birds. Black australorps, sussex, EEs, wyandottes and barred rocks are all other great breeds. Try not to add fancy breeds such as silkies, polish or cochins as they will be bullied due to their odd feathering.

    You need to quarantine the new birds for about three weeks before introducing. Here is a link on how and why to do so
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/...often-underestimated-part-of-raising-chickens

    Once the quarantine is finished, you need to introduce them properly. Using the see but don't touch method, separate the two groups of birds so they can not reach and peck but still see and "meet" one another. Do this for as long as possible with a week being the minimum. Once they are let lose together, make sure they have plenty of hideaways and space. Also, provide extra feeders and waterers so that none of them starve. (Bossy hens hog feeders.)

    Finally, yes, you will not get many if any eggs during this stressful time.

    Good luck!
     
    2 people like this.
  3. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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  4. NickyKnack

    NickyKnack Love is Silkie soft!

    Welcome redlink,

    So glad you joined the BYC coop! One thing about red sexlinks, they are aggressive to any new colored birds. My reds went after my goldens with a vengeance. And that's after a whole summer of free ranging together. So that they could see and hear each other, but get away from them when needed. If you get chicks, just be sure that they are about the same size when you start introduce them. CDs in the run help distract the older hens away from the new. Also I used sticks to block of a section of the run. So the new girls can get away from them. Most importantly, have multiple food and water stations so the new hens can get food and water until the new pecking order is established. For me the pecking order fights was the hardest part. Check over the new girls regularly and doctor any bad wounds. Chickens love blood! Once they draw it, things could get deadly. Good luck!
     
  5. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    Welcome to BYC! Glad you decided to join our flock. You can add most standard breeds to your flock (I would avoid the crested breeds as Mountain Peeps suggested), but you need to add them very slowly and carefully. There is a good article on introducing new chickens to an existing flock at http://poultrykeeper.com/general-chickens/introducing-new-chickens. Also when you mix them for the first time, I would spray all the feathers of your new birds down with TCP perfume (be careful not to get it in their eyes, mouth, and faces. It won't hurt the birds, but it will discourage the established members of your flock from pecking at them. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have. We are here to help in any way we can. Good luck in introducing the new birds to your flock.
     
  6. N F C

    N F C doo be doo be doo Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC! I have 3 RSL girls in our mixed flock and they are some of the sweetest we have. Gotta love their big brownish eggs! You've already received some good info on how to add new girls, so I'll just wish you luck.
     
  7. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    [​IMG] Glad you joined us!

    You've received some good advice already! I would personally recommend adding some Wyandottes. My Wyandottes have been very docile, beautiful birds that are also excellent egg layers.
     
  8. spitfirecream15

    spitfirecream15 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi and welcome to BYC!!!! You will find lots of useful info on here. Maybe try adding a dual purpose breed. New birds may interupt their laying because the pecking order will get shuffled around.
    Welcome again and all the best with your flock!!
     
  9. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

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    Welcome to BYC! [​IMG]We're glad to have you.
     
  10. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Hello there and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    Mountain Peeps has left you with some great information on bringing in new birds and breeds that will get along with yours.

    Make yourself at home here and we do welcome you to our flock!
     

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