Best way to introduce a new chicken to a large flock?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Country Heart, Dec 7, 2013.

  1. Country Heart

    Country Heart City Girl With A

    What would you do?
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    Depending on the personality and breeds of the large flock it can be extremely difficult to add a single bird.

    The more space available and extra feeders/waterers help.

    Rule of thumb is to introduce like numbers and like sizes.

    If you have more housing, you can place one of your birds with the new one for a day or two, and every day add another bird till you have a good size flock in there, then introduce the birds.
    This is also a good way to quarantine. If the new bird is bringing in disease, you'll only lose one or two birds.
     
  3. Shalom Farm

    Shalom Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Is it just one chicken? It better to introduce in pairs. Rooster to Hen introductions resolve quicker in my experience than hen to hen introductions.

    I after making sure the new member is healthy for a few weeks before putting them near the flock, I take a small portable run/hutch/etc. and palce the newbie(s) inside it. I put it in the pasture and let the flock out. The new members can't free range yet. Let them introduce on "neutral" areas. If they don't free range, I put the hutch and coop side by side and let them get use to each other. After that settles down (depending on the flock a few days to even a few weeks) I let them mingle. I watch them but don't break up scuffles. They need to work it out. I just watch for any signs of injury or blood, especially on breeds crests and such.
     
  4. Country Heart

    Country Heart City Girl With A

    Here are some more details on the potential integration...

    - the new chicken is a young silky roo
    - the existing flock of 30 includes a large/in charge roo and a few silky roos that the large roo generally ignores
    - they tend to stay in the coop and run
    - but occasionally have free range time
     

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