Bringing in 3 new chickens to my 1 old chicken

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Jaegermus2, Oct 27, 2014.

  1. Jaegermus2

    Jaegermus2 In the Brooder

    Sep 14, 2014
    We're increasing our flock from 1 chicken (we recently lost our 2nd to illness) to 4. I've seen a lot of articles on adding 1 chicken to an old flock, but I'm introducing possibly as many as 4 chickens who've never met to each other. One of them has lived in this coop for as long as we've had her, the other three will be from a breeder. We are getting 2 pullets and one older hen to match our current two year old. That way when we table retire the non-laying hens, we'll always be replacing 2 chickens at a time so it will be 2 on 2 when we introduce new chickens, instead of 3 on 1.

    I'm concerned the 3 new chickens may end up becoming the de facto "flock" if they are already acquainted from the breeder's flock. So I'm wondering if I should purchase them gradually (if they are a flock, then I know at least I have to do the introductions gradually). If everyone is a stranger, I'm wondering if I can just throw them all in the run and let the four of them get to know each other since there will be no established flock to gang up on a "newcomer".

    I've also considered getting the pullets first and introducing them to the older chicken, allowing her to establish her dominancy, then adding the other older chicken in the traditional, gradual fashion.

    Any suggestions are very welcome, especially if you've been in a similar situation.
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    If you do it gradually, only wait a couple days.
    Even though they may be from a reputable breeder, they can still have parasites/disease the breeder is unaware of. It's always best to quarantine at least 2 weeks as far from your flock as possible. The problem with that is you only have one bird so she'll be getting lonely.
    A single bird often welcomes new friends and it's her home turf so I don't think 3 newbies with a loner would be much of a problem.

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