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Adding to flock

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by garthmyers, Jul 8, 2011.

  1. garthmyers

    garthmyers Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 2, 2011
    Central Missouri
    I currently have 5 sex link that are 5 months old. I am adding threee plymouth rocks that are approximately the same age. What is the best way to introduce the new birds to the flock. My plan was to let the sex links out to free range and let the plymouths lose in the run so they can get use to eachother through the harwire cloth before i turn them all out together. Any thoughts? suggestions?
     
  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    You've got the right idea.....I'm lucky enough to have my hen house, plus an extra A-frame coop. Any newbies go into the A-frame first, and after I've kept the newbies in the A-frame for about a week, then I will let everybody free range together, and eventually I just close up the A-frame and put everybody together in the bigger Hen house.

    There will be some bickering (establishing the pecking order), but then that will iron itself out in a few days, and things will be settled down normally within a week. It can be rough though.....But usually everybody gets through it OK.
     
  3. idiganthro

    idiganthro Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 15, 2009
    Mechanicsville, MD
    I usually quarantine for AT LEAST 2 weeks, more like a month if I'm not sure of the source of my new birds, or if there are any signs of possible illness. This is a good time to manage pests, powder, administer wormers, antibiotics as needed, etc. As with chicmom, I have an older A frame coop that is used as our quarantine area. At first I keep old and new girls completely apart, but within eyesight of each other. Once I feel comfortable with everyone's health, I let them get close, but with a fence in between for about a week. On integration day I put the new girls in at dusk when everyone is a little dopey!

    There is still all kinds of reshuffling of the pecking order, but so far being patient and going slow with combining has worked well and there haven't been any serious issues.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2011

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