can you add one chick to a year old flock?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by belindaschicks, Dec 6, 2016.

  1. belindaschicks

    belindaschicks Songster

    Jun 8, 2016
    I have five 8 month old pullets. I would like to add one more in spring. I am not sure if this can be done and if so how?

  2. junebuggena

    junebuggena Crowing

    Apr 17, 2015
    Long Beach, WA
    It is very difficult to introduce a lone bird to an established flock. Not to mention the challenges of raising a single chick (constant chirping). Best to get a chick that is already off heat or at point of lay or wait till you can add more than one. Have a separate coop/run for the new bird next to the flock's coop/run. That way, they get to know each other safely. After a few weeks, allow the new bird to spend some time inside the run with the flock. If it goes well, then you can let the new bird live with the flock full time. It takes a lot of time and patience to introduce new birds into a flock, and it goes more smoothly when there are multiple birds being introduced.
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC!

    junebuggena hit all the important points.
    I'm wondering why you only want to add 1 more bird....
    ...guessing you are tight on space or there is a limit on how many birds where you live??
  4. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    At least two birds of the same age would be preferable, not only for the reasons mentioned above, but also to prevent one bird being an loner within the flock (and thats once it is accepted). Younger pullets tend to form their own sub-flock until they begin to lay, so it would be a lonely few months for one bird.
  5. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    And here's another important reason why introducing a single chicken into an existing flock, no matter what age, is unwise. Chickens tend to focus their attention on anything that is new, unique and different. They want to investigate this unique thing unrelentingly with their beaks, and this can prove dangerous when the unique thing is a chick that is much smaller than the rest of the flock.

    Chicks, as they develop, derive their self confidence from being part of a unit with other chicks of the same age. Depriving a chick of this will set it up for bullying, maybe for the rest of its life. You are doing a chick no favors by having it as a single. The only way it can work is if a broody has hatched and raised a single chick and protects it until it's reached significant size.

    Please wait until it's feasible to add two or three chicks.
  6. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

    Nov 7, 2012
    Agreed with Azygous. Do what's best for the bird(s) you will be adding, and above all make sure you have enough room. IMO, adding birds to an already existing flock requires more space than the minimally recommended 4 s.f. in coop and 10 s.f. in run per bird.

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