Best way to add to my flock?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Limeaide, Aug 23, 2016.

  1. Limeaide

    Limeaide Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi!

    So I lost 4 out of 5 of my hens in March and had been having a hard time finding birds in the area to add to my tiny flock of two. I've recently added a rooster a friend gave me, he's a lovely Phoenix rooster and my sweet girl Irene and him had a seamless transition. They get along incredibly well, especially for her being an independant lady of one. I want to add to my flock though and I'm not really sure how. I'm looking at two options right now - buy some baby chicks, or I found someone that raises their own chickens nearby and are selling birds of all ages.

    When is the best time of year to buy baby chicks? Is it too late now? I only have one coop, although I'm sure I could figure out a way to keep them separate until the babies are big enough.

    If I buy some adult hens, what is the best way to introduce them to my flock of two?
    With the rooster my friend suggested putting him in the coop at night, which I did and they were fine. I don't think a few hens could magically appear in the coop though and be ok. I know they'll have to establish a pecking order and they'll probably be scrappy with each other but can I just transfer them in the coop after a short quarantine period? The only other form of containment I have is a medium sized dog carrier and I don't know how happy they would be in there for a few days. My coop is pretty small and can hold about 4-5 birds. We're working on building a larger coop in the next month for more but until then we just have our small one.

    Any and all advice is very much appreciated!
     
  2. dekel18042

    dekel18042 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote: Do your birds free range at all? The easiest way I've found is after quarantine if you can put them in proximity to your coop...if it is fairly warm and you can tarp over a large dog crate so the old and new can see each other then after a few days just let them free range together. Make sure you have enough feeders and waterers and as long as they can get away from each other they should be all right.
    I've had young ones living next door to my main coop and free ranging together with no problem for over a month now. They're in and out of each others' coops and runs sampling each others' food. Recently for the first time some of the younger ones have gotten locked in the main coop at night and slept there which is good because I intend to have all of them there by fall.
    You mentioned you have a rooster. I've found that usually roosters are the peace keepers in their flocks if you are adding hens. They don't want trouble in their flock and they want the new hens. Most will do their best to prevent more than a minor peck or squabble.
    Good luck.
     
  3. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    Basically, I just throw them in together...Its a bit ugly for a few days....As long as they are not shedding blood, they will figure it out...At first the Rooster might try to keep the new birds from entering the flock but soon he will like the new ladies.
    My way has worked great....I toss them in and free range as usual...Cut out all treats during the introduction so no fights start and have extra food stations out.

    I just let them be chickens.
     
  4. Limeaide

    Limeaide Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 23, 2013
    Fantastic, much easier than I was expecting! Thanks so much for the help!
    I do free range my birds and then lock them up at night in the coop, they're pretty punctual with going in their coop around 8pm.
     
  5. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    Their will be fights and some pecking but it looks worse that it usually is...If things get ugly try again....I never worry...They are like old ladies at the bargain bin....lol!
     
  6. wvchix

    wvchix Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was just getting ready to post this question! So glad you already did.

    I have 5 hens in one coop and a rooster and hen in another coop. I'm hoping to incorporate them so that I can tear down the oldest coop.

    Good luck!
     
  7. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    Throw them in......I would. They are Chickens and know what they are doing....
     
  8. wvchix

    wvchix Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 11, 2012
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    Ok... Wish me luck! Lol [​IMG]
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Can't wait to hear the updates on how the 'throwing them all in together' works out.
     
  10. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    Good luck....You wont need luck.......It just takes time. All will be fine in a week or so?
     

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