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adding to the flock?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by SaraChristine, Oct 4, 2012.

  1. SaraChristine

    SaraChristine Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 18, 2010
    Edgerton
    We bought our first chickens this year in early May. We bought 6 black jersey giants (2 turned out to be roosters). That have been so sweet and we really enjoy them! However, they aren't producing very much and we have been considering expanding the flock. I was looking into buying maybe 4-6 ISA Brrown hens that are 14 months old from a neighbor down the road. IF we do decide to expand, what are the chances they will integrate in with our current birds? Is there a certain way to introduce them, or should I make a separate coop area for the new girls to stay? We currently let the chickens free range, and would let the new girls do the same.

    Any advice would be much appreciated!

    Thanks,
    Sara
     
  2. real_redhead

    real_redhead Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 6, 2011
    Roanoke, VA
    In a nutshell...Whenever you get new chickens you should quarantine them for a while, everyone has their opinion on how long but I think the standard amount of time is at least a month. If you do this you reduce the risk of introducing anything harmful to your birds and you have time to watch the new ones to make sure they are not sick. This also means you should take care of your flock first when feeding, etc. then take care of the new ones so there isn't a chance to spread disease, etc. from shoes clothes, etc. Look up "biosecurity" and you will find a lot of info on this! Once you are ready to introduce them most people do it at night when they go to roost. Put the new ones on the roosting pole and let them out in the morning to free range, of course they will have to establish the pecking order so there will be some pecking. You will also need to think about whether you are going to keep them locked in the coop for several days so they know where home is before letting them free range. I am sure others will post their suggestions so you will get a lot of help! Good luck!
     
    2 people like this.
  3. SaraChristine

    SaraChristine Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 18, 2010
    Edgerton
    Thanks for the advice? I guess my next question is how many chickens can I put in a coop that is 8'x5'x4'? I have 6 right now and there seems like there is still plenty of room. I just don't want to crowd them
    Sorry that was supposed to be 'Thanks for the advice!' Not with a ?
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2012
  4. belwelch

    belwelch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 8, 2011
    Kentucky
    I am also interested in the best way to introduce new chickens. All of ours free range together but have separate coops at night. I want to change the flocks around some to get certain hens with certain roosters. Our chickens spend some of the day in a coop-run enclosure and we turn them out when we get home from work. I worry the new hens will get cornered and killed while in the run. I thought it would be easier to introduce new hens?!? We are now up to 4 coop/runs to give each rooster I want to keep a flock, but now I don't know how to get the hens with the correct roosters. Our coops are 4ftx8ft with an attached run 12ftx8ft. Also I want to let the broody hens sit some eggs, do I need to separate them? If so how do I put them back in with their flock? Any and all advice is much appreciated.
     
  5. SaraChristine

    SaraChristine Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 18, 2010
    Edgerton
    how many chickens total do you have in each separate coopk?
     
  6. belwelch

    belwelch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 8, 2011
    Kentucky
    I have any where from 6-12 in each run/coop. The one I want to add chickens to has a coop size of 6x8 and a 8x18 run. I have 11 hens and one rooster in that coop. I biggest question I have is can you leave a hen with chicks with her flock or do you need separate them. If you seperate them how do you put them back in that flock with out having problems?
     

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