First Time Chicken Parents soon to be adopting older chickens :-/

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by StarlightQuest, May 5, 2016.

  1. StarlightQuest

    StarlightQuest New Egg

    May 5, 2016
    Let me just start out by saying, we don't know what we are doing, at all. We are learning as we go and everything we do know we have learned on pinterest and this group (reading as a guest until today when I made an account).

    We are excited to have our first little flock of chicks, they are five weeks old and their coop is getting built tomorrow so they will be moving out of the garage soon (we had 80F here yesterday and it is getting pretty warm). We have 8 in all, 5 Ameraucanas and 3 Black Australorps.

    Last week my next door neighbor told me they are moving at the end of the month and asked if we would like to adopt their 3 year old hens (6 layers, various breeds).

    I have no idea what would be the best way to put these two flocks together.

    I've read a lot of posts about what to do when introducing a new group of young birds to an existing flock, and many other posts about adopting adults into an existing flock... What would be the best way to handle introducing a young flock and adopting an adult flock at the same time?

    Neither group knows the yard yet so there aren't any territory issues. I'm building a coop that will be big enough for all 14 of them, but there is a possibility that the coop they are currently in could be moved over (we still have to see if we can even lift it because the thing is huge).

  2. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Chicken Obsessed

    Mar 26, 2011
    Upper Peninsula Michigan
    I would suggest keeping them separate until your babies are older- and larger. It can be risky for smaller young birds to be in with adult birds. When you first introduce them, it would be nice if it was while they were out ranging, where the young birds could move away from the older ones more easily if attacked.

    I have always found that the integration goes better if you are mixing up fairly large numbers of birds, because there is some confusion about who is new and who is not, and they just seem to settle in a little more easily.
    1 person likes this.
  3. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Agree with Mutt's fan.

    Depending on breed, the neighbors birds at 3 yrs. old may be slacking off in egg production. You may also want to quarantine them to be sure they don't bring any unwanted 'gifts,' with them.
  4. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

    Jun 15, 2012
    Welcome to BYC! I'm glad you joined us! :)
  5. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    Hi and welcome to BYC - you have some great advice already so I'll just say hello! Oh, maybe its worth mentioning that if the hens are commercial layers, then they could be burnt out already and not bring much to the party.

    All the best
  6. StarlightQuest

    StarlightQuest New Egg

    May 5, 2016
    they are half Ameraucanas half Orpingtons. She said they still lay really well.

    As for quarantine, they will literally be moving over the fence. Their coop is currently sitting about 30 feet from where I plan to put it in my yard. Given that scenario, is quarantine still going to be necessary, how would I do it? My chicks came from CAL-Ranch store, I've had them a month already... I'm not sure what more quarantining needs to be done or what that would look like. Any advice would be great.

    If I can't move the existing coop from the neighbor's yard should I wait until the last possible day (before they move) to get them and put all of the birds in the coop at the same time? By then mine will be about 8-9 weeks old... is that old enough? or should I just bring over the other birds and do the new chick integration protocol that I've read in other threads?

    I want to put mine in their coop sooner than later and get them out of the garage, but would it be better to wait and let the older birds establish themselves in my yard first? or would it be better to have the younger birds move in first and "claim" the yard before bringing the older birds?

    Last edited: May 6, 2016
  7. lclark

    lclark 20 acres bliss

    Mar 22, 2016
    Great Lakes State
    Welcome to BYC! We're so happy to have you here [​IMG][​IMG]
  8. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Chicken Obsessed

    Mar 26, 2011
    Upper Peninsula Michigan
    8-9 weeks is still pretty young.

    I would think quarantine would be unnecessary under the circumstances.

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