Adding to my Flock

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by BarbiD, Sep 23, 2016.

  1. BarbiD

    BarbiD Out Of The Brooder

    May 23, 2016
    Hayes, Virginia


    I'd like to add 3-4 pullets to my flock. Posting pics of my setup but I'm just not sure how to do this. I do have a large dog crate that I can put the new girls in but I do not have a way to segregate them in the coop or run. The automatic coop door let's my girls out into the run at 6:30 AM and then I open the run door when I get up and leave it open all day until they go in at sunset. The ladies free range all day. Thanks for your suggestions!
  2. Very cute set up....
    Being you free range...Would it be possible to put out the feed and water for the other birds and leave the new ones locked in the run during the day? Are your older birds laying?
    Hmmm? Too bad you could not expand the run more? If you could? A temporary run would be better for the introduction....

    Pecking order can be, and is a bit mean...

    Good luck...I just think you need to get something set up in order have things go smoothly...

  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2016
  4. carlf

    carlf Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 2, 2016
    Mobile, AL
    That was my question, how many do you have now? And how old?
    Your run is not very big, if they have to be kept in for an extended period of time, it will be crowded.
    I would double the size of the run if you are doubling your flock. I have an 8'x16' run for 5 hens.

    I will defer to the others on adding the new birds. I just use my broody hen to add birds.
  5. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

    Nov 7, 2012
    Given what you have to work with, I think I would do this: IF your run is predator proof, I'd raise the dog crate up off ground level, and put it in the run, being sure that creatures of the night can't reach through the wires and snag the hens. Then, I'd use the crate to hold them over night, (cover back and part of the sides of the crate to give them a bit of secure/private space, perhaps put up a bit of a divider fence in the run to give them some run space. Keep them with that set up till they are acclimated to that space. Then, let them out to range in late afternoon with the rest of the flock, under supervision, for a few days. After they make their intros in free range space, work on intro in the run, and moving them into the coop after that. Rule of thumb, bare MINIMUM: 4 s.f./bird in coop, 10 s.f./bird in run. More is better, especially with a smaller flock.
  6. BarbiD

    BarbiD Out Of The Brooder

    May 23, 2016
    Hayes, Virginia
    I started with 8 chickens. 2 roosters I culled because they became aggressive and I lost one hen last week to a predator. My hens are never in the run more than a hour in the morning. The automatic coop door opens at 6:30 AM letting them out to the run and then I open the run at about 7-7:30, occasionally a little later on the weekends. I purchased three 14-week old pullets this weekend, two Cream Legbar and one California White. My existing girls are 21 weeks old and all but one is laying. My setup is as suggested, I've turned off the automatic door and the new hens are setup in the run with the dog crate covered on three sides. I let them out of the run for the first time last night after my girls went in the coop to roost. I'm just not mixing them up yet until I'm perfectly satisfied that the new girls are healthy. I understand it can take a few weeks before signs of illness can show up? I have already noticed that the two Legbars always seemed to have stuff stuck to their beaks. I researched yesterday and found that this is a runny nose! I haven't experienced any respiratory issues in my flock yet so I didn't know. Running out to get some VetRx. Have already added crushed garlic to the water and am also getting apple cider vinegar with the mother. Anything else I should be doing??? Oh and the new hens are solely on medicated grower feed and it is mixed also into my hens normal organic layer feed. The lady I bought the new hens from was very serious about not introducing Coccidia and strongly recommended I use the medicated feed for one bag.

    Thanks for your help!!

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