First timer: picked up new flock today--oh what a day

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by hpfchickens, Dec 15, 2018.

  1. hpfchickens

    hpfchickens In the Brooder

    Dec 13, 2018
    Oxford, NC
    After weeks and weeks of planning and construction, we went to pick up our flock--ten hens and three roosters from a friend of a friend who was trying to rehome his flock. I woke up at 4am so excited and couldn't get back to sleep. I put together 13 banker file cardboard boxes and lined them all with hay, thinking we would put one bird in each box. We would unload the hens into their new house, then the three roosters. So we traveled the 1 1/2 hours to pick them up, and were stunned when we pulled in their driveway to find all 13 birds in a large dog crate. The owner was sick so a friend had done this. He told us they would be fine for the journey. I was a nervous wreck but decided it was best to get them to their new home as soon as possible. They were very quiet on the way home. We took the crate to the door of our chicken house and opened the crate door and after a few seconds they all left the crate and immediately started scratching around and exploring. (And someone laid a blue egg on the way home). I had thrown out scratch, grit, dried mealworms and alfalfa. Their pvc feed tubes had layer pellets. Also had two water sources. They all seem so happy. Before dusk we went to check on them. Three were up on the roost bars, three were checking out the ramp to the roost bars, four were on the perch leading to the nest boxes and the others on the floor. I find myself so nervous--is this normal? I know they are safe and their new conditions are a million times better, but do you think they will adjust ok? We plan to keep them in their house for two to three days before opening their chicken door that leads to their 40x24 garden. Were you all nervous when you got your chickens? Here is a picture of them shortly after they left the dog crate. newflock.jpg
  2. ChocolateMouse

    ChocolateMouse Crowing

    Jul 29, 2013
    Cleveland OH
    All this sounds very normal and well thought out so take a few deep breaths. It may take a while for the chickens to figure our their roosts. 13 chickens all in the same container for transport is pretty normal. I will put 2-3 hens in a cat carrier for transport. It's honestly better that they lie down and don't move for a shorter drive like that (3hrs or less) so tighter quarters are better. They generally all hunker down and wait it out.

    Given that they all popped right out of the crate this sounds like they've not been mistreated and they're gonna adjust rapidly. They will be just fine, just give them some time.
  3. DobieLover

    DobieLover Easily distracted by chickens

    Jul 23, 2018
    Apalachin, NY
    My Coop
    They look great and I think they will be just fine.
    On a side note, how high are those roosts? How thick is the bedding?
    It looks like a pretty good jump down from the roosts and those boys look big.
    Callender Girl and JedJackson like this.
  4. BigATC

    BigATC Songster

    Jun 26, 2017
    Spokane County, WA
    While chickens can get a bit stressed with moves such as this, they do seem to adapt pretty quickly. Are they used to having a coop to use at night? May need to watch them in the eve to see if any don't make it back to the coop. I had a couple do that but only took one night of relocating them to get the idea. Best of luck!
    Callender Girl and JedJackson like this.
  5. MissChick@dee

    [email protected] ~ Dreaming Of Springtime ~

    Aug 18, 2017
    Caliente Nevada
    :weeI think they did great! Sounds like they adjusted rather quickly. Seriously I would of expected a few problems. Ya know... chickens are amazing creatures they probably Know they just landed in the promised land. And keeping them all together is the kindest thing to do. I hope your Insta-Flock brings you great joy and lots of wonderful eggs. Best wishes
    Callender Girl and JedJackson like this.
  6. Folly's place

    Folly's place Free Ranging

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    Welcome, and all the best with your new 'instant' flock!
    It looks good, they will take some time to adjust, but good for you. Check them at night with a flashlight, especially on the skin around their vents, looking for tiny moving mites, or on their backs and necks for lice. Plan to use permethrin spray from the farm store if any are found, sooner rather than later.
    Eggs coming up!
    Callender Girl and JedJackson like this.
  7. Cragg Klefor

    Cragg Klefor Crowing

    Apr 14, 2017
    County Kilkenny, Ireland
    Best of luck with your new flock - they look lovely :)
    This place will be sooo helpful for you as You adjust! Welcome :welcome
    Callender Girl and JedJackson like this.
  8. Callender Girl

    Callender Girl Crowing

    Sep 18, 2018
    North Central Iowa
    I would say nervous is normal -- at least it is for me. Every time I bring home a new critter -- singly or multiples. poultry or ruminants -- I'm nervous.

    One advantage you have is that all of these birds already know each other. They may try to rework the pecking order a bit, but there is an established order that should make transition easier.

    Sometimes, chickens confound people with their choices. When two of my pullets moved from the brooder to a coop, I was sure they would love the nice, broad roost that I installed for the coop's previous residents, who happily perched every night. Vanna and Petra roosted there, too -- for the first night. Now, they perch on the very narrow edge of one of the nest boxes, about eight inches off the ground. I don't understand it, but they are happy there, I guess.

    It sounds like you are doing a good job of trying to take care of your new flock. Now, enjoy!
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    OhYeah! Brought all mine home in a large crate also.
    Had brought several crates for 10 birds, as she just herded them all into one crate.
    Best of cLuck!!

    ETA: Ditto the check for bugs. Instant eggs were great, but I also got lice in the deal.
    Google images of lice/mites and their eggs before the inspection so you'll know what you're looking for.

    Part the feathers right down to the skin around vent, head/neck and under wings.

    Best done well after dark with a strong flashlight/headlight, easier to 'catch' bird and also to check for the mites that live in structure and only come out at night to feed off roosting birds.
    Callender Girl likes this.
  10. chickens really

    chickens really Crazy Call Duck Momma

    Being they are all from the same flock things won't be too stressful for them. I'd reconsider the 3 Roosters if things go sideways.

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