Adding two young adult hens to my flock- Questions!

HouseMouseHens

Chirping
7 Years
Jul 31, 2012
245
30
91
Portland, Oregon
My Coop
My Coop
Hi all! I have a mixed flock of eleven hens (no roosters) and am going in a few hours to pick up an Ameraucana and a French Copper Maran to replace my two that died a few months back. They are coming from a farm an hour south of me, so I plan on bringing the dog kennel to put them in for the drive.

My questions are, when I get them home, can I just put them in with my chickens? I only have one coop, and my chickens are free ranging in the big yard (which is fenced) and my ducklings are in the enclosed run with a doghouse since they are too little to be outside without heat, so I really don't have a place to put them separate from my girls. As far as pecking order goes, we have not had a single instance of pecking order issues, and all my hens are very friendly and nice to each other, so I don't forsee that being a huge problem. Especially since they recently began free ranging so they are MUCH too busy foraging like mad to even notice new chickens I think. Haha! I guess I am wondering about possible illness and transferring something to my flock. I am going to check the birds out and if they seem ill I won't buy them, but is there anything specific I should look out for? I've never bought adult birds before, though I think I could tell if a bird was sick.

Any tips for a newbie?
 

Falkenhof

In the Brooder
7 Years
Nov 5, 2012
40
1
26
I would try and set up some sort of area out of a few cheap posts and chicken wire, a quick roosting bar and the carrier. Chickens work things out on their own in a natural order, its the illnesses that are nastier than grumpy hen. Stress from travel can make these illnesses worse for your new hens and cause them to fall ill or die. They can spend that illness to your existing flock, so keeping them apart for at least 30days is protocol...

But to be honest, I've violated this rule without serious consequences. I keep them apart for about a week, maybe two. After I know the birds aren't ill, they meet though a run 24/7 for a few days. They then free ranged together.

I wouldn't be overly worried if you absolutely can't keep them apart for 30days. I would try to do at least a half month watch on them though. Take introduction slow as well.

If some for some reason you can't keep them apart and they must mingle, watch carefully. Adding a bit of probiotics to the water might help. Most of a chicken's (and most animals) immune system is concentrated in the digestive tracts or along those routes. Probiotics will help keep the good bacteria up against strange new bacteria that will now be introduced. Just keep a cautious eye out and remove any sick birds for treatment. I would avoid using wormers right now, not until he flock is settles and healthy.

Best of luck! And sorry to hear two of your other birds passed.
 

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