How do you introduce new chickens?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by goatkeepers, Apr 29, 2008.

  1. goatkeepers

    goatkeepers Songster

    Mar 31, 2008
    Mooresville, NC
    Just out of curiosity, I was wondering how easy it is to introduce new chickens to a flock. We bought three chickens but now I kinda wish we had gotten a few more. [​IMG] Do you need to introduce them in a certain way, should we (one day) get more? Do they need to be about the same age (for example, could I put chicks in with our three adults?)?

    Thanks [​IMG]
  2. Chickaroo!

    Chickaroo! Songster

    Dec 27, 2007
    I'm very new at chickens in general, but I'm positive that you cannot put chicks in with grown chickens. They will peck the babies and if they draw blood, they'll keep pecking it until it dies.

    As for the rest of it...I'd like to know too, because I have 6 chicks about 3wks. old that are gonna have to get to know my 3 grown chickens!
  3. Sahara

    Sahara Songster

    Apr 22, 2008
    Keystone Heights, FL
    When I first bring home new chickens I will keep them in a separate pen but let them run with the other birds in the daytime (our birds are allowed all over the yard during the day). I do this for about three days and if they have all adapted well I will let them start roosting with the rest of the flock after that.

    I watch them very close the first few days to ensure the rooster is not too aggressive.
  4. goatkeepers

    goatkeepers Songster

    Mar 31, 2008
    Mooresville, NC
    We don't have a roo so just hens should be fine then? That's good to know, because I'm addicted and want more! [​IMG] [​IMG][​IMG]
  5. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    I just introduced a strange hen with one chick and a group of 5 wk. old biddies to my flock of 6 (one rooster). The biddies keep to theirselves and often have to run out of the way of the larger birds. The hen and chick combo kind of range by themselves also. At night, the old group roost as usual, the hen/chick sleep together in a nest box and the teens sleep in a pile in the corner. Noone is bleeding yet! It helps that I free-range everyone and the henhouse is very roomy, so noone is really in each other's way except in passing.

    Where they came from, they were all getting very picked on by a large flock of free-ranged birds. Their previous owner doesn't quite know what she is doing and is just playing around with her incubator. I kid you not, her whole flock is missing half their feathers (the turkeys too!), have been eaten by predators, killed or injured in mysterious ways, etc. She is ordering more chicks in May!!!! She claims all the picked off feathers are from overactive breeding but I have had rough and ready roosters before and never had barebacked and barebreasted chickens like hers. The turkeys are missing breast and tail feathers, even.

    I swear these chickens I got from her think they are in heaven at my place. She said they were wild but they follow me everywhere and try to climb on me if I sit in the grass!
  6. morelcabin

    morelcabin Songster

    Feb 8, 2007
    Ontario Canada
    I put new ones in at night, after everyone is roosting.

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