Adding to flock, quarantine, aggitation

Leonard4

Songster
5 Years
Jan 16, 2017
73
63
127
Suburbs of Chicago
Hi all! I have 2 two year old hens currently. Yesterday I picked up a 16 week old Ameraucana and a 9.5 week old Sapphire Gem from a local women who had too many (she is an experienced chicken keeper).

I read ahead of time that I needed to quarantine the new pullets to make sure there are no diseases. I had both of them in an extra large dog crate in my garage, with food, water and a fan near them. They were both very agitated, so I messaged the woman I got them from and she recommended I separate them for the time being since they are different ages, They both were definitely calmer. However, the Ameraucana is still VERY agitated on and off, and I feel terrible! I have a nice sized covered run coming tonight, but I won't be able to get them into it until tomorrow, as I work second shift. The plan is to still keep them in the garage at night to make sure no predators get them.

Am I doing everything ok? I've never added to a flock before (obviously). I just feel bad for the Ameraucana that she's so upset.

And constructive criticism and/or advice is greatly appreciated!
 

Mrs. K

Free Ranging
12 Years
Nov 12, 2009
10,881
17,783
726
western South Dakota
They often do a lot of squawking when things change. I am pretty sure she will calm down pretty quickly. If she has water, feed and shade, and it doesn't get too hot in the garage, you are doing just fine.

People often times worry on here, about birds being alone. I kept a rooster alone for almost 6 weeks, just to make sure it was molt and not something else. And recently I had a chick as a sole survivor of a rotten wreck. She was alone for more than 4 weeks, both of them did just fine, and both moved back into a flock with ease.

Mrs K
 

Leonard4

Songster
5 Years
Jan 16, 2017
73
63
127
Suburbs of Chicago
They often do a lot of squawking when things change. I am pretty sure she will calm down pretty quickly. If she has water, feed and shade, and it doesn't get too hot in the garage, you are doing just fine.

People often times worry on here, about birds being alone. I kept a rooster alone for almost 6 weeks, just to make sure it was molt and not something else. And recently I had a chick as a sole survivor of a rotten wreck. She was alone for more than 4 weeks, both of them did just fine, and both moved back into a flock with ease.

Mrs K
Thank you SO much. That made me feel better. I figure it's just an adjustment thing, but I was just worried I was doing something wrong. Thanks again!
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Nov 27, 2012
105,217
159,684
1,867
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
How big is your coop?
Dimensions and pics would help here.
That might be the hardest part, getting them all to share the coop.

Considering biological/medical quarantine:
BYC Medical Quarantine Article


Integration Basics:
It's all about territory and resources(space/food/water).
Existing birds will almost always attack new ones to defend their resources.
Understanding chicken behaviors is essential to integrating new birds into your flock.

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.

In adjacent runs, spread scratch grains along the dividing mesh, best if mesh is just big enough for birds to stick their head thru, so they get used to eating together.

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 copious blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down and beaten unmercilessly, 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'(but not a dead end trap) and/or up and away from any bully birds. Roosts, pallets or boards leaned up against walls or up on concrete blocks, old chairs tables, branches, logs, stumps out in the run can really help. Lots of diversion and places to 'hide' instead of bare wide open run.
Good ideas for hiding places:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/a-cluttered-run.1323792/
 

Leonard4

Songster
5 Years
Jan 16, 2017
73
63
127
Suburbs of Chicago
How big is your coop?
Dimensions and pics would help here.
That might be the hardest part, getting them all to share the coop.

Considering biological/medical quarantine:
BYC Medical Quarantine Article


Integration Basics:
It's all about territory and resources(space/food/water).
Existing birds will almost always attack new ones to defend their resources.
Understanding chicken behaviors is essential to integrating new birds into your flock.

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.

In adjacent runs, spread scratch grains along the dividing mesh, best if mesh is just big enough for birds to stick their head thru, so they get used to eating together.

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 copious blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down and beaten unmercilessly, 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'(but not a dead end trap) and/or up and away from any bully birds. Roosts, pallets or boards leaned up against walls or up on concrete blocks, old chairs tables, branches, logs, stumps out in the run can really help. Lots of diversion and places to 'hide' instead of bare wide open run.
Good ideas for hiding places:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/a-cluttered-run.1323792/
This is great information! Thank you!! The coop is plenty big, as we started out with 4. So I’m not worried about that aspect.
 

Leonard4

Songster
5 Years
Jan 16, 2017
73
63
127
Suburbs of Chicago
Chickens don't like change so they can get agitated but they are also adaptable. They get over it. They don't always know what is best for them, sometimes they may not like what you do for their benefit. In other words, do what you need to do and don't feel guilty about it.
Thank you so much!!
 

Leonard4

Songster
5 Years
Jan 16, 2017
73
63
127
Suburbs of Chicago
Here is a picture of it.
 

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