Cold weather / merging question

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by kris13, Dec 7, 2016.

  1. kris13

    kris13 Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 10, 2016
    We have two hens in a separate coop. (They just finished the four week quarantine and we moved their coop over to our existing coop so our current hens and the new ones can "see" each other for a couple weeks before we merge.) The problem/question is next week is going to be especially cold, the low around six. Their coop floor sits off the ground, we did throw a lot of straw in there, but just thought good to mention that. With just two of them will it still be too cold? Only having a week or so before we combine them all is okay and just do it ahead of the cold?
  2. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Chicken Obsessed

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    I think they will be fine. A lot of straw should help keep them dry, and dry birds are warm birds.

    However, in my experience, cold weather often times makes birds a bit more tolerant of who is sitting next to them if they are a warm body. However, take that with a grain of salt.
    A couple of other questions:
    • how old are the new birds and old birds?
    • what size are the new bird and the old birds?
    • how many old birds are you adding them too?
    • do you have a lot of space?

    In my set up, I would put them all together if they were close to the same size. But currently I only have three head, and I have a large coop.

    Mrs K
  3. kris13

    kris13 Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 10, 2016
    If the person who we got the new birds from was correct, all the birds are (within a couple weeks) the same age. Size-wise they appear that way as well. Two new birds being added to the six old ones. With all eight in the coop, we'd be at 4 sq ft. per bird, with a very large run.
  4. azygous

    azygous Flock Master

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    It's been my experience (read my article on introducing a single hen to a flock linked below) that the new birds can usually roost with the flock with little or no incident. It's during the day that the social order will come into play as the everyone strives to adjust.

    The way I did it was to let my new hen roost with the flock from the second night on, and first thing each morning, I took her from the coop and placed her in a safe pen in the run, letting her mingle for short periods each day, increasing the duration as each day passed.

    She did quite well, enduring the chasing and pecking that come with being the new chicken, and she appreciated the "rests" when I would place her back in her safe pen. This routine helped reduce the stress for her as well as the rest of the flock, easing them all into full integration gradually. In a month everyone was well adjusted and getting along fine.

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