best time to add to the flock

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by lisa douglas, Nov 16, 2012.

  1. lisa douglas

    lisa douglas Out Of The Brooder

    hi another question
    i have a flock of 18 hens who are all boschvelders and about 3 months old.
    if i wanted to add more hens of 4 weeks old or so when do you reckon is the best time?
    i am concerned tht the newbies will be beaten up because they will be so small even though my other hens and one rooster are not full size yet
  2. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    How old will the new birds be? If they are chicks, you will want to keep them separate until they are roughly the same size. It's best if they can see each other - then they get used to each other before you stick them together.
  3. lisa douglas

    lisa douglas Out Of The Brooder

    thanks for that
    after loosing what i think was one of my roosters to a mongoose yesterday i have becided to rather wait and hatch some of my own chicks when my hens are ready.
    think that will be the most natural way and more than likely i will get more than one hen sitting at the same time so there will be quite a frew babies that i can keep and eye on
  4. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    If you have a mongoose problem I'd suggest you keep your chicks (and moms with chicks) in a secure area for at least 3 months. We had a huge problem with mongoose when we lived in SA and of all the chickens we lost (more than 30 in total) only 2 were mature. They go for the chicks and young chickens first. Having a rooster in your flock will help. My roosters attacked the mongoose and always alerted us as soon as they spotted one.
    Also, I'm afraid as soon as the mongoose realise there's a food source (your chickens and eggs), they will not give you peace. We ended up trapping and killing them, which was unpleasant, but so was losing 5 chicks in 1 day.
  5. lisa douglas

    lisa douglas Out Of The Brooder

    thanks have taken your advice and mongoose proofed the run
    i think i am going to double the size of the run and only really let them have supervised free range time when they are fully grown
    i am also taking my dogs down on mongoose patrol once a day not sure my silly male doberman will know what to do with a mongoose but at least he will leave his scent around and hopefully that will put the buggers off
    also going to keep the grass really sort around the coop and run so that they have to come right out in the open to get to the run
  6. thespeedyz

    thespeedyz Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 14, 2012
    Zambia, Africa!
    Here in Zambia we seem to have alot of disease so after loosing alot of young ones I recently discovered the longer I keep them sheltered away from the rest, the less imuned to disease they are so recently I've been putting them out at about 2 weeks

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