combining flocks

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chica-z, Oct 15, 2008.

  1. chica-z

    chica-z Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 23, 2008
    Northern WI
    Right now I've got 7 hens (about 25 wks old) and I'm picking up 8 more 15 wk olds on Friday. I have a good tight coop and run area, the run is secure enough that I can leave one group out there and put one group in the coop. The 7 have been free ranging in the afternoon, so do I put the 8 "newbies" in the coop for a while so they know where home is and then combine the two? The 7 have started laying also...do I just set up a temporary nest in the run for them? How do I make this the least stressful for everybody?
     
  2. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap Premium Member

    Aboslutely YES. Keep them seperate but visible to each other for at least 2 weeks. This worked so well for us. We had 6 hens a 1 roo, and then bought 1 week old chicks. At 4 weeks we put them in a brooder that was visible to the other chickens, but closed up. Then last weekend we cut a small hole in the wire so they could go in an out as they wanted. Now, at 8 weeks, the hatch stays open 24/7 and the chicks and other chickens are getting along fine. No pecking, no bleeding, no fights. It is awesome!!!!!
     
  3. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    SW Arkansas
    chica-z, your plan sounds workable to me with one exception. You are not getting day olds from a hatchery, your getting 15 week olds. You'll need to isolate them first; as far away as possible from your current chickens in case they come bearing illness. After that I don't see why your plan wouldn't work.
     
  4. my first peepers

    my first peepers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 9, 2008
    South Western VT
    I have read some terrible stories on BYC about people getting new chickens and making their own sick! So you should definitely quarantine for 30 days...there is a sticky thread about biosecurity that is worth reading!
    Good luck and enjoy your new birds!
     
  5. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap Premium Member

    gritsar is right, I missed the part about them being 15 weeks. They should be isolated for 4 weeks (right gritsar?)
     
  6. chica-z

    chica-z Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 23, 2008
    Northern WI
    I have nowhere to separate them, unless they stay in the coop for a full 30 days. The older ones would have to be kept out in the covered run area. I guess it would work, as long as the newbies didn't feel too cramped. There would be 8 birds in a 8x8 coop 24/7...is that enough space for a short quarantine?
    I'm pretty sure they are healthy, but I REALLy don't want to get my current girls sick either. That would be terrible! Thanks for bringing it up!
     

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