Hawks as flock thinners (sorry long post)

mooman

Dirty Egg Eater
11 Years
Apr 9, 2008
86
2
41
Marietta, SC
I recently moved out to the country and plan to expand my chicken hobby. I have four right now that will stay in thier tractor up by the house. They straddle the line between pets/livestock and will have to be kept untill old and eggless (as per girlfriends orders)

I will be getting about 15 more hens for eggs soon. They will be kept in the barn and WILL NOT RECIEVE NAMES (as per my orders) Still, the girlfriend does not want to resign them to the stewpot when they become unproductive and I don't want to be stuck caring for a bunch of old hens in a few years.

I expect to lose some each year to hawks out here as they will be free ranging in the evening and on weekends when I'm around the house. Not terrible in my mind as this will allow for some turnover each year and keep egg production up. I'm worried about flock biosecurity woth introducing new chickens every year. Anyone else have this kind situation? How has it worked? Any and all advice welcome.
 

eggzettera

Songster
12 Years
Mar 9, 2007
1,495
10
181
Eggzile and / or Utah
The consensus here is that you ALWAYS quarantine the newbies for a month before letting them intermingle.

There also should be an adjustment time so they can get used to each other - they can see & talk to each other but no direct contact - at least a week or two.

Good luck!
 

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