How do I go about introducing new birds?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Andreab, Feb 23, 2009.

  1. Andreab

    Andreab Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 18, 2009
    I am very new to chickens. I have six laying hens that I am getting at the end of the week they will one next month. I also have 2 hens and 1 roo (light Brahma's ) coming at the end of the week. I was planning on getting 4 chicks next month. After reading I am a little worried about combining the birds. Right know I have about 5-6 feet of snow so I cant free range them to get used to each other. The coop will be 5 by 18 so it will be large. Does anyone have any ideas. Thank you so much for your help!!
     
  2. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    Nov 18, 2007
    Florida
    My Coop
    [​IMG] I quarantine my new birds for at least a month before I introduce them to the others. I put them in adjacent runs for awhile so they can get used to seeing each other. I take them out of quarantine after a month. I put mine together when they are about the same size. They will still establish their pecking order. I first let mine range together when my pullets are around 15 weeks old but watch them carefully. Initially when I let the birds out in the yard to free range, I put some scratch and seeds out in the yard so they will fixate on the treats instead so much on each other. I had two of my older hens pounce on some of the younger ones and even pull some feathers out. and yes they can kill other birds. I put the aggressive ones in a separate run for a week where they could see the others. When I let them back out with the flock one was still a bit aggressive. I happened to have a hose in my hand and when one of the older birds jumped on a younger one I gave her a shot of water from the hose and she got off and ran into the coop and didn't come out for awhile. The older birds still chase the younger ones once in awhile. One of my big girls will still pounce aggressively on the younger ones. I try to get her when the hose is in my hand and if I can try to catch her in the act so she will associate the shot of water from the hose with don't do that. There are pictures on my BYC Page.
     

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