advice on obtaining more hens

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Cheerful, Oct 5, 2012.

  1. Cheerful

    Cheerful Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 5, 2012
    Started this spring with 10 straight run chicks....and ended up with 7 roosters. We are "harvesting" the roosters, and so will be left with just 3 hens. We wanted a few more, plus I'm a little concerned they wont keep themselves warm this winter in the coop, since it is designed for 5-8 birds and is very open.
    Would love to get 2 more hens. See people selling them on kijiji but is this a terrible risk to take? Is there a way to minimize the risk of disease (as in, if you know what to look for)? The other option is to wait until next spring and get chicks again, though that seems like quite a wait...
    Any thoughts or advice?
  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Well, you could get a good reference from someone here on BYC as to who in your area has a disease-free flock, a BYC member or someone known by a BYC member. Yes, you are taking a risk anytime you add started birds, which is why I don't, but there are folks who have disease free flocks, such as myself. Of course, I always recommend you quarantine any new birds for at least 4-6 weeks away from your flock to let symptoms come to the surface so you don't add trouble to your current hens.

    ETA: you can put a Want to Buy ad here on BYC and always ask the hard questions of the seller about disease in his/her flock. They can lie, of course, but if they say they medicate for "colds" (chickens don't get colds), then you know not to buy from them.
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2012
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    You can buy "second hand" hens but you have to be smart about it. Look at the seller's place and their birds. Are things clean? Are the birds healthy? Is the seller at least as knowledgable as you? Don't buy iffy birds or birds you feel sorry for or want to rescue. Not worth it at all. And plan to quarantine for a good long while.

    Or, you can do a small order of chicks now, or split a large order with someone local. It's fine to get chicks now, they're really pretty tough. New chicks now will start laying in the spring, so you'll have new layers while everyone else is wishing their pullets would start laying!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by