1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Gettin' new adult chickens, tell me what I need to know

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Larkin, Apr 25, 2011.

  1. Larkin

    Larkin Chillin' With My Peeps

    155
    0
    99
    Aug 10, 2010
    Northern Wisconsin
    Currently I have 9 hens, 4 chicks, and some temporary meaties. I have the opportunity to take on as many as 12 other 1 year old hens. My coop is 12x18 and I have an attached run that they don't use-they prefer to free range in our yard, fields, and woods. I know you should quarantine the birds first for about a month, is there anything else I need to know? Will they try to "run away" or will they know to stick around a strange invironment. Will they just start using the nesting boxes? Anything I should watch out for? Thanks for your help!
     
  2. NottinghamChicks

    NottinghamChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:All animals need to be confined for a matter of days minimum. I would confine them for up to two weeks (more likely, 30 days which is the quarantine period you stated) so you can learn more about them, bond, and create their need to come home at dusk. You also want them to know that they should use the nest boxes provided so they are not laying in the shrubs etc.
     
  3. Sorin

    Sorin Chillin' With My Peeps

    580
    1
    121
    Jul 15, 2010
    Glenfield, ny
    If you keep them locked up in he coop for a week or so, they will learn that the coop is their new home and will come back there. If possible, you should keep apart for a while, but where they can see each other, so they can get used to each other before you integrate them all into one building. You may have a few fights yet while they establish a new pecking order but it will settle down in a couple of days. With the nest boxes, if they are already laying, then they probably have used them before. Just show them the nest boxes, (preferably with an egg or two in them) they will get the hint during thier week long lockdown. That's a big part of it, but if you search old threads for "introducing new hens" you will find tons of helpful info! Good luck! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2011
  4. McGoo

    McGoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    I've taken in other adult hens in the past. Quarantine is really important so that you know the new hens are healthy...some diseases aren't obvious at first. Also you don't want the new ones to bring some disease which yours are susceptable to.... so be careful and keep them totally separate until you know for sure. Check for lice/mites and things liek that too. Then move onto the next stage where they see each other, etc.

    I think it's good that you will have two good sized groups to join, vs just one or two. That's always more difficult.

    Good luck [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2011
  5. Larkin

    Larkin Chillin' With My Peeps

    155
    0
    99
    Aug 10, 2010
    Northern Wisconsin
    Quote:Ah, I tried to look it up but found more on introducing chicks, I will type in hens. Thanks for the info!
     
  6. Larkin

    Larkin Chillin' With My Peeps

    155
    0
    99
    Aug 10, 2010
    Northern Wisconsin
    Thanks everyone for the info and encouragement! I'm excited to try this and let my friend downsize her flock. I trust that they are well cared for and healthy but I'll still keep them in quarantine and monitor them. I thought of chicken wiring part of the coop so that they can still see each other, then just take down the "wire wall" between them when the time is right.
     
  7. Celtic Chick

    Celtic Chick Overrun With Chickens

    4,063
    105
    260
    Apr 7, 2011
    SE Wis
    Introducing chickens is a time consuming process, just so you know.
    Never just throw new chickens into an existing flock. The results can be catastrophic. You need to have an introduction period of at least a few days to a week, preferrably with the new ones fenced off so the "old" ones can't tear them to pieces. A 30 day quarantine is highly recommended as well (for adding adult chickens). Disease is easily carried from flock to flock, even on your shoes. I usually quarantine the new birds for at least 30 days, well away from the main flock, then put them in a pen near the main flock for a few weeks. You can then either divide your run into 2 separate sections or put the newcomers into a cage inside the run for a few days to let them get used to each other. Then I let them out to free range together for a few days/week, eventually they will fight it out and the new ones will blend in with the original flock.
    If you have chicks, the general rule for adding new birds to an already existing flock is to wait until the newcomers are roughly the same size as the established birds. That way, they can at least defend themselves. Unacquainted chickens are going to fight, and unfortunately there is not much that can be done about it. It is just in their nature. But I would suggest that when you do finally put them together for the first time that you have the garden hose ready just in case anyone gets a little too out of hand. One quick shot of water should do it. [​IMG]
    It would be nice if chickens could all just get along. Unfortunately, that was not programmed into their DNA. Chickens are cruel when it comes to outsiders until the pecking order becomes established. Once that is out of the way, peace should once again return to the kingdom. [​IMG]
    Good luck & let us know how it turns out. [​IMG]
     
  8. Larkin

    Larkin Chillin' With My Peeps

    155
    0
    99
    Aug 10, 2010
    Northern Wisconsin
    Celtic Druid-thanks for the info, I plan on doing this during my summer break so that I can be attentive to this and so I have a little more time for researching this! I will let you all know how it turns out.
     
  9. Celtic Chick

    Celtic Chick Overrun With Chickens

    4,063
    105
    260
    Apr 7, 2011
    SE Wis
    Quote:[​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by