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How do I introduce new chickens?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by nbenevento, Nov 14, 2012.

  1. nbenevento

    nbenevento Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 12, 2012
    From Southwestern, PA.
    OK so, I jut got four - 8 month old chickens with a pen last week. There are 2 long horns and 2 Rhode Islands. The coop they came with was made for 6 chickens in mind. Well, I stopped at my local pet store tonight to get food for another pet and low and behold, they had 2 chickens. They didn't even know what breed but I think 1 is a Plymouth Rock and Ithink the other is an Australorp but I'm not sure on that. It is solid black. These two chickens are supposedly 5 months old and not laying eggs yet. In the crate, they do not have any bedding or anything like that. When I casually told the clerk that I had just gotten 4 chickens myself, she immediately asked if I would take these two for buy one get one. They can't seem to get rid of them. So, to my question...Should I get them and if so, what is the best and safest way to integrate them into my current "flock"? Any advice is much appreciated!
     
  2. marvun22

    marvun22 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 8, 2012
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    first of all, it wont completely perfect. i've done this process twice. a couple things to keep in mind. rhode islands are possibly aggressive considering how they were raised. i hate to say it but you have to basically sit and watch the older ones pick on the younger ones. you have to have multiple food and water sources because one way of the bigger chickens assorting themselves as boss is keeping the littler ones away from food and water. if it gets to messy, don't hesitate to put the little ones somewhere else. this probably isn't the best advice but there hopefully will be some other members helping you out as well.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. NestingHillsSC

    NestingHillsSC Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 6, 2012
    Tennessee
    Sort of agree with above. Throw them in there and get out of the way. I have done this way too much when I first started. And do it every year when the old ones go to the freezer. Always have 3 generations in there.

    First make sure they are old enough to be with the bigger ones. Recommend at least 16 weeks old. To small and the older girls will injure them. They have to be able to defend themselves. Don't put a 7 year old on a pro football field.

    CONTROL YOURSELF!!!! This is the hardest thing to do. You will want to run in there and save them. Wrong!!!! They are CHICKENS. This is there behavior. Something they must do in order to have order in the flock. They are not children there chickens. When people realize this they will have less problems and a very happy flock.

    They most likely will run straight for the hen house and roost to stay out of danger. I will take them out and lock the door so they cant get in for a few hours here and there. When outside they will find a spot to hind and act like chickens. I usually will set water and food around that area. So they can get something. Trust they wont starve or die of thirst. Actually just the opposite. That will make them come out and be chickens.

    Doing this to new comers right now. Chickens are funny. If the new girls would just walk away slowly the others would never chase them. But young chickens act as if there getting killed. They scream and run. That makes all the rest chase them like running from a dog. Im always saying to myself. Just turn and walk away slowly. LOL. But NO!!! There funny.

    Ihave had some that in a day or so where fine. Had some that took weeks. None the less before you know it they will all be out there scratching around and acting like chickens together.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. marvun22

    marvun22 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 8, 2012
    North Dakota
    my youngest chickens were 13 weeks old and my oldest ones were 23 weeks old when they were introduced to each other. i live in the country and i have tons of open space. i have a coop because i have cats and coons and foxes. so my chickens established the pecking order at night and before i let the big ones out in the morning.
     

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