How do I introduce new hens to a 6 month old flock

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by jpowers5882, Sep 27, 2011.

  1. jpowers5882

    jpowers5882 Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 28, 2011
    Hi Everyone,

    I have a flock of 7 NH Reds. They started laying about a month ago.
    I'm about to visit our annual fair on Friday night and I have a feeling I'll be coming home with one or two new hens to add.
    However, these hens will probably be a different breed.
    Is there a method to introducing new, young hens to a young flock?
    I just want to be fair to the new hen(s) and the existing flock.

    Thank you!

    - Jim
  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    Hi Jim!

    That's a very good question. First, you should quarentine them for at least two weeks so that you can make sure they're healthy, and that they don't have parasites.

    Then, it's really ideal if you can have them inside the coop, in a cage where the flock can see them, but not touch them for about a week. Now this is not mandatory, but it does make the transition easier.

    I like to let them free range together at first too, that way the new gals can run away if the others get a bit physical with them.

    Then, after you're sure they're healthy, just put them all together. There will definitly be a little bit of scrapping around, but it should settle down by the end of the day, and they will all be fine in about a week.

    I never introduce just one hen, always two or more.

    I'm no expert, but I find these things help me when I bring in new chickens.

  3. Citron_d'uccle

    Citron_d'uccle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 15, 2011
    Fort Worth, TX
    I am an expert by no means, but I will share the method I use.

    I free-range my birds in a 14' X 30' 'hoophouse' that I call my 'Chicken Quonset Hut". When I introduce new members to the flock I have a 10' x 12' 'pen' that I put inside the hoophouse. The new chickens are kept in this for 14 days. On the 14th night I put the new members in the coop with the rest of the flock. This method has worked great for me. Hope this helps.
  4. RonB

    RonB Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 4, 2009
    I agree with chicmom 100% she is right on !!! thats the way I do it. let them free range together first. works great. there will be a little pecking but the new ones will be able to get away.
    You need to learn Chicken MATH [​IMG] never introduce ONE chicken to a flock. always TWO or MORE:thumbsup

    However I did introduce one chicken to my flock two weeks ago and it did work. but I have a very big run for her to get away in if she needs to. plus a good sie coop
  5. jpowers5882

    jpowers5882 Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 28, 2011
    Thanks to all for the quick and helpful replies.
    Friday evening, I was going to go to a county fair to purchase one hen and plop her into the pen.
    Thanks to your advice, I now realize I'll need to do a bit more planning, and perhaps purchase more than one hen!

    Thanks again for your help.

    - Jim

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