Advice needed - adding a chicken or chick to the flock?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by nikkimay, Apr 22, 2007.

  1. nikkimay

    nikkimay In the Brooder

    Apr 8, 2007
    Pacific NW
    Hi All,

    You may remember i posted a few weeks ago about my barred rock with a bite on the tush..... well we took her to the vet, and did everything for her that they told us to do... but this morning we found that she had died overnight. I am very upset about this - yesterday she was acting just fine.

    Anyway, the other girls (a rir and an ee) seem very upset about this too.... we only had the 3 girls, and they had been together their whole lives, almost 3 years.....

    So here's the question - should we try to introduce a new 3rd to their group? Or perhaps introducing 2 more would be eaiser? (our coop was built with 3 in mind, but we could probably make 4 work)

    And if we do add one or two chickens, should we start with chicks, pullets, or hens? If we start with older girls, i want to make sure they are just as friendly as ones we raised ourselves....

    Any and all advice would be very much appreciated - i just want what's best for my girls.... and i'm afraid they'll be lonely with just the two of them....

  2. robbobbin

    robbobbin Songster

    Jan 28, 2007
    Hi, sorry to hear about your lost hen. Don't worry about your other girls, they'll get over her in no time.
    This is what I've found about introducing new stock to my flock. Introducing at least 2 at the same time helps. They at least have each other they recognize. I usually use the coop inside the coop technique. I put a dog cage inside the coop and pen the new comers inside for a period of time until they seem comfortable and everybody is used to everybody. Usually a week to 2 weeks. Feed and water sep.
    Now in your situation, sounds like a small coop, maybe without room to coop inside it with cage, so I would for sure get 2 so they will have some comfort. But thats just me.
    About the age question, remember if you get older hens, they will establish pecking order over your current girls, or at least try to. resulting in small fights. I have always found it easier to introduce the younger ones.
    Well hope I made some sense, and good luck. I find it hard to believe that you think your gonna be happy with only 4 chickens...hehehe we'll see. You should have built a much bigger coop. lol
  3. Julie in Al

    Julie in Al Songster

    Jan 18, 2007
    Dothan, Al
    I totally agree with Robin. I would add two and if you can keep them in a small area inside pen to let others get used to them it helps.
  4. I have heard that its best to keep an "even" number of chooks so 4 is best??
    When I introduce new chickens I always buy 2 then I keep them separate for the first night and in the morning I let the new ones roam the yard to get to know the place, water and food location etc. while the others are still locked up. then I let the olders out and yes they squabble but settle down in a couple of days.
    Its only when the newbies try to outrank the oldies that they get picked on.
    If the newbies are well behaved they should have no probs. younger chooks may be good for personality training!!
    good luck
  5. maggiePI

    maggiePI In the Brooder

    Apr 4, 2007
    S. Oregon
    Definitely 2 or more at a time. I added 3 new chicks - old enough to be outside- to my 2 older hens after one of my big hens died using the keep them separate but close method. They have done fine. I had one little banty fly into my yard and was never accepted though they did tolerate her out free-ranging in the yard but pecked her badly in their run even after knowing her for a year. I usually like to get 3 of most baby things in case one dies they still have each other - that's my thinking. [​IMG]
  6. nikkimay

    nikkimay In the Brooder

    Apr 8, 2007
    Pacific NW
    Thanks for all the advice,

    we haven't decide if we should get more or not - i'm just not sure if our girls would rather have more friends, or just be left to themselves...

    but if we do make an addition, i think we will get 2 baby chicks and raise them ourselves so they are as friendly as our other girls.....

    I just don't want to mess up the dynamic that our two remaining girls have already..... so we'll see
  7. SeaChick

    SeaChick Songster

    Apr 25, 2007
    Southern Maine
    I'm so sorry![​IMG]

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