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Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Country Heart, Dec 7, 2013.
What would you do?
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.
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.
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