Getting new Hens

margieclarke

Hatching
5 Years
Jun 10, 2014
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Cambridge England
Hi I have three hens different breeds and until recently I had a Cockeral. He had to go as the Hens were under a lot of stress.
I want to get some more hens I have been offered a young hen from a friend but I would like two new hens.
Should I introduce one hen at a time or both at once, safety in numbers
 

Yorkshire Coop

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I found the look but don't touch method useful. Keep new ones separate but so the older ones can see them. I then found adding new ones to coop at night best so they have been together when it's quiet time. I'm sure though you will have some squabbles until the new pecking order is established. I found this useful hope you do too. Good luck with your new birds :fl https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=2593-adding-to-your-flock :frow
 

Mountain Peeps

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Welcome to BYC! Please make yourself at home and we are here to help.

I would introduce everyone at once. That way all the stress can happen at one time. X2 on Yorkshire. The see but don't touch method is the best way to introduce them.

Put them all in separate areas so they can see but not touch. Then after 2 or 3 weeks, let them mix. Be sure to provide extra feeders and waterers as bossy chickens will hog them and starve the other birds.

Good luck!
 

Michael OShay

Crowing
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May 14, 2014
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Welcome to BYC. Glad you decided to join our flock. You were wise to get rid of the cockerel. The recommended ratio of hens to roosters is 10 hens for every 1 rooster as too many roosters can be very hard physically on your hens; over-breeding them, biting and plucking the feathers from their necks and backs, battering them, and potentially, seriously injuring them. I currently have 25 hens and no roosters, and I get loads of eggs without the aggression, fighting, biting and plucking feathers from the hens' necks and backs, non-productive mouths to feed, crowing in the middle of the night, over-breeding and battering that goes along with having roosters (especially too many). My hens are stress free, and enjoying life without roosters around. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have. We are here to help in any way we can. What kind of hens do you have?
 

TwoCrows

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Hello there and welcome to BYC!
frow.gif


It is always easier to introduce more than one bird at a time so one is not singled out for bullying. So do two or more at a time. See but can't touch is the best method. Keep them in a cage for 3 to 4 weeks within the flock at all times. When you do mix them in, add more feeding and watering stations as the older birds are going to guard these areas and can starve out the newbies. If any fighting becomes bloody, always intervene.

Good luck and we do welcome you to our flock!
 

Wyandottes7

Crowing
6 Years
Jul 24, 2013
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Welcome to BYC!
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We're glad to have you.

I would definitely introduce several birds at once. If you introduce only one bird, it may be get picked on by all the others. With several birds, one bird can't be singled out quite as easily.
 

BantamLover21

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Jul 24, 2013
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Glad you joined us!

If it were me, I would introduce all of the birds at once. That way, the can work everything out at once, and no single bird will be picked on.

On a slightly different note, be sure to quarantine any new birds you get before introducing them. Seemingly healthy birds can carry terrible diseases, and if introduced, can spread the disease through whole flocks.

Good luck with the introductions!
 
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