going to be rehoming chickens this wknd...any tips?!

BierHuhn

In the Brooder
Oct 20, 2015
45
7
44
we are rehoming our three 2.5 year old ladies this wknd. we've had them since about 20 wks old. now we will have to box them up and take them for a 45 min car ride where they will kept for the day in a 3x3x3 gated little coop attachment, surrounded by 60 chickens (a few roosters included) and a few ducks, until they are let into the coop for the night with them. at least thats what we're thinking how to do it. we were originally thinking to bring the whole little coop and keep them separate (tho surrounded still) for a few days first, but the way that would have to be gone about it just WAY too difficult, given our set up.

any thoughts on how to make this as easy as possible on them, in the way i stated?! or would it be better to just bring them in the evening to just go straight into the coop with the others?!

i went to check out their new home yesterday. i didnt think to grab some of the feed they use, to introduce it to them before getting there (d'oh)! im going to find out if its something i can get though. and im not sure the gated attachment will fit inside the new coop. im thinking now, maybe it would be better for them to be separate in there (instead of outside) so they could get somewhat familiar with the coop atmosphere before getting thrown into it?! i dont know, im (overly) nervous obviously. but any helpful thoughts are appreciated!!! thanks.
 

bobbi-j

Enabler
11 Years
Mar 15, 2010
15,965
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On the MN prairie.
Ideally, your hens should be kept in a look but don't touch environment for several weeks. But that space should be adequate for the number of birds you're holding. I would NOT just put them in with the others at night. Chickens may not be the brightest animals, but they are fully capable of recognizing new birds in their space. If kept separate, but within sight of the rest of the flock, the flock can get used to their presence.

BYC member aart has good information on integrating birds:
Integration Basics:
It's all about territory and resources(space/food/water).
Existing birds will almost always attack new ones to defend their resources.
Understanding chicken behaviors is essential to integrating new birds into your flock.

Confine new birds within sight but physically segregated from older/existing birds for several weeks, so they can see and get used to each other but not physically interact.

In adjacent runs, spread scratch grains along the dividing mesh, best if mesh is just big enough for birds to stick their head thru, so they get used to eating together.

The more space, the better.
Birds will peck to establish dominance, the pecked bird needs space to get away. As long as there's no copious blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down and beaten unmercilessly, let them work it out. Every time you interfere or remove new birds, they'll have to start the pecking order thing all over again.

Multiple feed/water stations. Dominance issues are most often carried out over sustenance, more stations lessens the frequency of that issue.

Places for the new birds to hide 'out of line of sight'(but not a dead end trap) and/or up and away from any bully birds. Roosts, pallets or boards leaned up against walls or up on concrete blocks, old chairs tables, branches, logs, stumps out in the run can really help. Lots of diversion and places to 'hide' instead of bare wide open run.

This used to be a better search, new format has reduced it's efficacy, but still:
Read up on integration..... BYC advanced search>titles only>integration
This is good place to start reading, BUT some info is outdated IMO:
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/adding-to-your-flock
 

BierHuhn

In the Brooder
Oct 20, 2015
45
7
44
thank you for the response and info! i figured out a way to make it somewhat easier for us to be able to bring their coop as well, so im thinking we will do that. it will have to be placed in the run outside of the coop at their soon to be new home. but i dont think they will keep them that way for more than a few days at most. i will talk about it with her after i read more about it and see what she is willing/able to do. i bought a bag of the soon to be new feed that i will start incorporating. she has introduced 30 of her 60 chickens, including the ducks, and then a couple of single hens at other times by putting them into the coop at night, and says they all did fine. i guess we'll see what can be worked out! :fl
 

bobbi-j

Enabler
11 Years
Mar 15, 2010
15,965
33,565
1,092
On the MN prairie.
thank you for the response and info! i figured out a way to make it somewhat easier for us to be able to bring their coop as well, so im thinking we will do that. it will have to be placed in the run outside of the coop at their soon to be new home. but i dont think they will keep them that way for more than a few days at most. i will talk about it with her after i read more about it and see what she is willing/able to do. i bought a bag of the soon to be new feed that i will start incorporating. she has introduced 30 of her 60 chickens, including the ducks, and then a couple of single hens at other times by putting them into the coop at night, and says they all did fine. i guess we'll see what can be worked out! :fl
Sometimes it works. That has not been my experience. I suppose it could also depend upon what one thinks is "fine". There are not absolutes in chicken keeping. What works for one will not work for another.
 

BierHuhn

In the Brooder
Oct 20, 2015
45
7
44
Really once you give them to her, they are hers to do with as she wishes.

yes, that is true. thankfully she is willing to do things to make their transition easier, as well as mine. i asked for any helpful thoughts for the situation i proposed. your unrelated comment only served to help my anxiety.
 

Mrs. K

Free Ranging
11 Years
Nov 12, 2009
9,354
12,731
636
western South Dakota
No offense intended.

If I was the owner of 60 birds, I would not be taking in 3 old birds and risking my large flock without a quarantine. I would not have them near the flock. I would be much more worried about 60 birds verse 3.

People do things differently. If the new owner is willing to let you have a say in it, you found a peach of a person. Good luck to both of you.

Mrs K
 

MANNA-PRO

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