How many hens can be introduced to a flock at one time?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by gm21255, Aug 7, 2011.

  1. gm21255

    gm21255 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 20, 2011
    Hi everyone. This is my first post. I have 8 hens and one rooster that have been together for about a year. From this year's incubator and broody hen experiment, I have 8 hens and 1 rooster that are 4 months old. I would like to merge them into the existing flock if possible. Given the size of my flock, how many hens and/or rooster can I introduce at one time? Do it all at once or a few at a time? All the birds are about the same size (no small or exotic breeds). There is plenty of room available in the coop and the yard, so space is not a limitation. I've read all the posts I can find about methods to introduce chickens and roosters, but couldn't find anything about how many birds you could introduce at one time. I'm prepared to create a separate flock if I have too, but wanted to get some opinions about "a big merger" first.
     
  2. bertman

    bertman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 13, 2011
    This month's issue of Backyard Poultry (volume 6, number 4) has an excellent article on exactly what you are asking. You might be able to read it by going to their website.

    backyardpoultrymag.com


    I'm a newbie at this too, so I have been a bit confused about how to do what you are doing and the timing of it. The article is very clear about how to do it.

    Good luck.
     
  3. gm21255

    gm21255 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 20, 2011
    Thanks for that suggestion. The website isn't letting me access that particular article so I think I'll purchase this issue and check it out. Thanks!
     
  4. chickensgalore

    chickensgalore Chillin' With My Peeps

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    hillsdale,michigan
    ive found the more you introduce at once, the easier the transition is
     
  5. spiritdance

    spiritdance Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 13, 2010
    I find that introducing newbies goes better when I introduce batches rather than single birds. I just merged 7 newbies into a large flock a few days ago with no major aggression problems. I've done this many times, and the newbies always hang together, and this seems to discourage any serious picking from the established birds. However, if you introduce just a few - say 3 or less - the existing flock members are more likely to target them and possibly do some damage. In that case, you need a transitional space - a cage in the larger coop, etc. - to facilitate the integration. Just my 2 cents from my experience...
     

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