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Help, Introducing chicks to current Flock?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by dizzle's chicks, Oct 28, 2011.

  1. dizzle's chicks

    dizzle's chicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 16, 2011
    Hi All,

    I recently lost a hen (20 weeks) and I wanted to get two more chicks (7 weeks) but wanted to know how should i introduce them together without any fighting. The farm where I'm getting them at said to divide the coop and put food and water on both sides and leave them in there for two weeks to see each other but not get at each other. Since it is getting cold here is Seattle he said to close the coop door and leave them in there. Does anyone have any other suggestions in how to introduce new birds to current flock.

    I current have 5 birds.
    Rhode Island Red (born 6/1)
    Buff Oprington (born 6/1)
    Brown Leghorn (born 6/1)
    Barred Rock (born 6/15)
    Golden Laced Wyanndotte (born 6/8)

    Planning to get
    Blue Wyanndotte (born 9/7)
    Black Sexlink (born 8/31)

    Thanks for the help!
     
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    First, new birds, yes, even 7 week olds, should not be put into the flock directly, but kept in isolation from the main flock for up to a month, in order to observe any diseases that they might infect the rest with something you sure don't want.

    Second, the pecking social order is far too strong in birds to be casual over introductions. Young, smaller birds can literally be brutalized and sometimes even killed by the strong, older hens. Their instinct is to protect their group against intruders.

    7 week old pullets are simply too small, and weigh too little to fight back and earn anyone's respect. I suggest you take a month. Then, slowly introduce by having them side by side, where they can see, smell and hear each other, but safely through netting. The introduction will happen one day. It may be rather rough even after you've taken all these steps.
     
  3. top of the hill

    top of the hill Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 20, 2011
    Connecticut
    we have 3 BR's (7 weeks) who have been kept apart form the other girls in our "coop in a coop" they can all see and hear eachother, but are screened off from pecking eachother. Once the BR's are a bit larger I'll try to intergrade them all (say 12wks) We plan on sectioning off some outdoor space for them as well (they are growing quite large!)

    Also, I've read that you can put the new birds on the roost with the others while sleeping, when they wake up its like the new birds were always there! Not sure if it works, but its my plan for when I finallly do take the screen away.
     
  4. flgardengirl

    flgardengirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 2, 2009
    Sunny side up :)
    If those new birds are alot smaller, I would not try and sneak them in during the night. The new ones need to be close to the same size as the old ones or they can be easily killed. They will notice if those new birds don't belong there and will attack them the next day after sneaking them in. I would wait till the little ones are older and gradually start freeranging them together or place the fences of thier runs side by side for awhile so they can see each other for a few weeks before mixing them together in the same run. Good advice about the quarantine of new birds. You must at least quarantine those new birds for a month or so before placing near your flock.
     

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