can u introduce 3 chickens that haven't been raised 2gether to 3 who have?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by eggxelent, Jan 8, 2014.

  1. eggxelent

    eggxelent Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm thinking of getting 3 more chickens (hopefully a Marans, a Welsummer, and a Wyandotte) soon and I'm wondering if chickens I get from 3 separate breeders can be introduced to my existing flock of 3 (2 EE's, 1 GSL) Should I quarantine each, then introduce the three, then introduce the trio to my flock? Can this even be done? Will it take a long time? Does it depend on the breeds I get and have? Or on the age of the birds involved? Please help, I am fairly new to chickens and though I have done much research, I don't have a lot of hands-on experience. Getting rid of my existing flock is not an option, because I am much too attached to them. I will probably get pullets, but may get sexed chicks or hens.
    Thanks!
    ~ Eggxelent[​IMG]
     
  2. elsiebb

    elsiebb Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I did this. I got day old chicks last April and raised them together. In September I got some month old birds, wanting to diversify egg color. I quarantined the four new birds with each other but separate from the original group. I introduced them gradually, eventually putting the younger ones in the coop with the older group. They've been living together since mid-November but still haven't integrated. the older birds dominate the younger ones, who are afraid to venture out of the henhouse. I am hoping they will eventually all get along when the young ones are as big as the original group. Honestly, it is working out very slowly. I'm not sure I'd do it again, however. It's a lot of stress worrying about them getting along.
     
  3. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    If you get chicks, they will need to be raised in their own space until they are roughly the same size as your other hens.

    If you buy adult chickens, you will want to quarantine them to ensure that any illness they may have does not spread to your flock. It is important to care for the new birds last, including changing your shoes. Do not go back out to your current hens until you have showered and use different shoes. After the quarantine time (usually 30 days), you can put them together at night. If you have an area in your coop, it can ease the transition, but if they are the same size, it's generally not a problem. There will be some pecking and chasing as they reestablish the pecking order, but unless there is blood, let them work it out.
     
  4. eggxelent

    eggxelent Chillin' With My Peeps

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    But should I quarantine the new ones together with each other or in 3 separate cages?
     
  5. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    Together is fine.
     
  6. fisherlady

    fisherlady Overrun With Chickens

    Agree...

    As to your question about quarantining them together... I would caution you to make sure the area you have them in allows room for them to avoid each other or get away from each other if they need to.... if they are from different sources then basically you are introducing them to each other also, not just to your original flock. Watch their behavior very closely for signs of aggression over food or resources and have a back up plan ready if their is a major conflict that doesn't sort itself out quickly. Most times it is a lot of displaying flared feathers and dancing around, but some hens can get downright nasty to other birds.
     
  7. eggxelent

    eggxelent Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks everyone! This was really helpful.
     

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