Expanding Small Flock

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by rfunger, Oct 11, 2010.

  1. rfunger

    rfunger Out Of The Brooder

    15
    0
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    Jul 26, 2010
    Front Royal, VA
    Hi,

    Had one question about my small Welsummer flock. I have three 18-week old hens and have room in my coop for two more. I'm thinking of adding another couple of hens but am unsure if they will get along with the established hens. Can anyone advise on whether this will be a problem? Would it be more of a problem if I bought two new, different breed hens? i was thinking of adding two Plymouth Barred Rock pullets. Or should I stick to Wellies?

    Thanks!
     
  2. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    You can add another breed. I would recommend two, and never just one... but you said you wanted a couple. [​IMG]

    Here's MY integration process (after a 30 day quarantine away from the original flock - that should happen first!):

    Put them in a small integration/segregation coop or coopish thing. Dog house, covered dog crate, or whatever you have that will work for temporary housing. Put this inside the main chicken run, and then put up a temporary run with garden stakes and poultry fencing around it. They get their own feed and water. Keep the there for about two weeks.

    Everybody will be able to see each other, hear each other, even chest bump through the fencing, or peck at each other but get away without any injury.

    After two weeks, just take down the temp fencing and let them mingle. Keep the second feeder and waterer available, so the original flock members can't block them from food and water.

    There should only be very minor pecking order issues, because the other chickens will realize, "Oh, you're not a stranger. Just remember *I* get to eat first and *I* get all the treats first. Stay out of my way." There might be some minor pecking, chasing and squawking, but nothing awful.

    Good luck! I always encourage folks to expand their flocks. Just an enabler, yes I am!
     
  3. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    I won't talk about quaranting for new birds brought in, but just my experience introducing new birds.
    If you can find hens of similar age (or older) or size, that would help. And it helps that it would only be 3 against 2. There will definitely be issues...from fairly minor to pretty severe depending on your birds temperament and how much space they have. Is free ranging a choice? That seems to help with them getting use to one another without too much picking/bullying. Have two feeders/water dishes available too...that way if someone is getting picked on, they still have access to food/water. I don't think breed will have as much to do with how they'll react as personality will...
     

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