First ever flocks from TWO different sources

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by GothicChickens, May 15, 2016.

  1. GothicChickens

    GothicChickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Hello everyone! So I'm getting my first chickens soon. I'm getting 3 chickens from this one lady, and 2 from this other in the same day. I've just been working a lot, and finally have time to drive 2 hours away to get some chickens that I wanted. If this lady had all the breeds I wanted, I would have just gotten them all from her. They are all around the same age. About a year. I've read up on what to do when introducing chickens to your existing flock, but I don't have any chickens right now. These would be my first ever chickens. I read that this one lady just let them all out in the coop, and as they are stressed from the ride, and being in a new area, they were more focused on their new home, instead of beating each other up.

    I've only been able to find two different threads about a situation like this on BYC and never been able to find any articles anywhere else about a situation like this. Since they are all the same age, and will arrive to their new home at the same time, what would be the best situation?
    Also, I know that mites can be transferred from one flock to another, so I will be dusting them. Should I just put dust in their traveling boxes so I don't have to handle them right away? Or because they are older, they won't be so scared after the trip, that I can just pick them up and dust them?
     
  2. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    Personally, I wouldn't treat them for anything until I knew there was a reason to treat. Maybe bring the powder with you, inspect the birds when you pick them up to put them in their traveling boxes, and apply it then if needed. I don't think it would do any good just to put it in the boxes, since I believe you have to get it in their feathers and down to their skin to be effective.

    It doesn't matter how old they are, they'll be freaked out after the trip and put into new surroundings with other chickens. They may or may not be too occupied getting used to their new home to fight much over settling the pecking order. There will be squabbles - that's just a fact of life when chickens meet other new chickens. If they are laying, they may stop for a few days to a few weeks after you get them home. That's one of the ways they deal with stress. They just stop laying for a bit. They'll likely start again soon.

    There will be those who will tell you that you need to quarantine. That is a personal choice, and if you can't do it correctly, you might as well not even bother. ("Correctly" being keeping them 100'-300' apart, separate food and water equipment, changing clothes or at least your shoes between coops for approximately 30 days) I would not quarantine. I'd probably do it the way you are - bring them home and put them in the coop/run. Do you have an attached run for your coop? That would be helpful in getting them to realize that the coop is now home. Keep them locked in the coop/run for a bit (I usually keep new birds locked in for a week - or my old birds if I move them to another coop) then let them out to free range (if you're going to go that way) later in the day for a few days so they don't get too far from their coop, and they should go right in at bedtime.
     
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  3. GothicChickens

    GothicChickens Out Of The Brooder

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    May 4, 2016
    Thanks for all the information! I do have a run attached to the coop.
     
  4. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    I would do as Donrae -

    The only thing I would emphasis is DO NOT TAKE any chicken that is sick or has signs of parasites. Feathers should be clean, a little tiny bid of dirt at the bottom is ok, eyes should be clear and bright, no discharge, they should not be sneezing. On the legs, the scales should be so flat and tight they look smooth.

    Generally speaking, healthy looks healthy, this is not fool proof, but do not take anything you feel sorry for. The set up should be fairly clean and dry. Chickens kept in a dry set up, are generally healthy.

    When I have gotten laying chickens, mine have laid as usual for the next 24-36 hours, then took a break. Those eggs were in the system before the moving stress.

    Good luck, this is a fun hobby.

    Mrs K
     
  5. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    Good points Mrs. K - I forget that not all chickens live in happy, healthy conditions. So, OP do as Mrs K says and do not take anything that doesn't look healthy no matter how long you have to drive to see them. In the long run, it's just not worth it.
     
  6. GothicChickens

    GothicChickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Sadly, I did not end up getting two flocks at once. The other person didn't end up responding to my messages the day before, or the day of pick up scheduled. However, I am supposed to get two different flocks today as well. 11 weeks old, and 13 weeks old. I was planning of keeping them a little bit longer in the coop we have inside of the house till they were about 15 weeks.
     
  7. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    Your house will get awfully dusty from all that chicken dander. Any reason you don't want to put them in the coop right away?
     
  8. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    We must be reading this wrong, those birds would be way past old enough to be outside at 11 weeks.
     
  9. GothicChickens

    GothicChickens Out Of The Brooder

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    I was worried that the pullets were not old enough to mix with the older hens. I was afraid that they might get pecked to death. I just read too many chicken horror stories. But I got everything all settled. I ended up getting the pullets home at night, and I just stuck them into the coop onto the lower roost. I also put out watermelon and cabbage out for the older hens to be distracted with, instead of having their minds focused on the pullets when they all woke up. As I was putting all the food out, the pullets kept getting out of the coop and just walking around the run. I had to put them back about 3 times. But the pullets all stay together, and the hens all stay together. I have multiple food dishes and water dishes out till the hens stop chasing the pullets away from the food.
     
  10. critter lover

    critter lover Just Hatched

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    We are having a similar issue. Our older chickens are two months older than the new ones, and immediately went after the new ones when we put them in the coop. We tried it for a few hours and will try it again tomorrow. We are hoping they all get along, but the older ones were pecking at the littles ones unless we were keeping them apart.
     

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