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How to introduce new chickens?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by 6RandomBrownLayers, Feb 5, 2012.

  1. 6RandomBrownLayers

    6RandomBrownLayers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So I am getting new chickens here in the next month or so. I have heard that you need to quarintine them and just let them see each other? Currently mine just free range all day so I don't have a pen for the new ones yet. I was wondering if I could just put them together and let them solve their differences their way? or is that a bad idea?
     
  2. Kevin565

    Kevin565 Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Personally I would still quarantine. Disease could wipe out an entire flock. After they have been quarantined there are a few different options.

    You could release them while your birds are free ranging so there is plenty of room for the new ones to flee if needed.

    You could add the birds to your coop at night

    You could put them in a sectioned off area so they can see each other without being able to get to each other.

    Also how old will the new birds be? How old are your current birds?
     
  3. 6RandomBrownLayers

    6RandomBrownLayers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My current chickens are 22 weeks or so. So they 'll be about 25 when I get my chicks. I'll probably put my new ones out when they are 8 weeks or so.
     
  4. mtnhens4

    mtnhens4 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would just be careful and go slowly with the introductions. To your established flock these new birds will upset the pecking order and that could spell trouble for the chicks. I just introduced 2 pullets to my flock of 4 almost 1 yr. olds and there was a lot of pecking and chasing going on and there was even blood drawn on one of the younger ones comb, that's when I stepped in and seperated them. Sometimes I would remove the bullies and sometimes the chicks, I have a dog crate in the run that has it's own food and water so the little girls went there just for protection. We don't free range at all. After 1 month of this, they co-exsist but really don't get along well, the little girls keep to themselves and I worry now and then if they are being allowed enough time at the food and water. The big girls chase them sometimes and ignore them at other times. It just takes watching them and stepping in when you have to.
    At night the big girls wouldn't let the little girls on the roost and sometimes wouldn't even let them in the coop. So after the big girls were settled we would set the little girls on the roost and the big girls would peck at them forcing them off the roost and even pushing them off, then the Head Chick (that's me) started pushing them off of the roost to give them a taste of their own medicine. After 2 nights, all of them were up on the roost until last night, I guess I'm going to have to show them who's boss again[​IMG] Good luck with your intergation, it just takes time and persistance.
    I would strongly suggest quarantineing for 2 wks just to make sure your chicks are healthy.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2012
  5. 6RandomBrownLayers

    6RandomBrownLayers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm building a second coop for the new birds because the current one is rather small even for 6. There is no way it could hold 12. Does anyone think that this could help since the new birds won't be going into the current ones home?
     
  6. mtnhens4

    mtnhens4 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Will they be sharing a run or just the yard? New birds are seen as a threat to the current flock but if they only share the yard then the adjustments should hopefully be easier.
     
  7. 6RandomBrownLayers

    6RandomBrownLayers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I live in a more rural area and own about 8 acres of land. If they wanted to they could go all over it. As of now though they tend to say within 60-70 yards of the coop in any direction. So I wouldn't think that they would feel to harrased by the new birds.
     
  8. 6RandomBrownLayers

    6RandomBrownLayers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If I get pullets, will I still need quarentine them for sickness and disease issues?
     
  9. ADozenGirlz

    ADozenGirlz The Chicken Chick[IMG]emojione/assets/png/00ae.png

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    You definitely want to quarrantine new birds, it's just not worth the risk otherwise. It's a much better idea to integrate your new chickens slowly than to just toss 'em into the existing flock and let them figure it out. That's an unnecessarily stressful and injury-risking method. Here's how I do it and it has worked for me 100% of the time, no outcasts, no fighting, no blood-shed, no drama http://eggcartonlabels.blogspot.com/2011/06/integrating-new-flock-members-playpen.html
     
  10. Mum

    Mum Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have my resident flock and I have a recently acquired mini flock (which held 4, 1 died, leaves 3).

    Last weekend, I was given two more hens (who had been vaccinated). My logic was, the 3 from the mini flock had been with me one month (quarantine time!). The 2 new one's were vaccinated (not sure the 3 mini flock had been) and I took the risk of integrating the 2 new, with the 3 mini's. I would NOT have done this with my resident flock - I chose them specifically; these last additions were given as part of a package for the housing the seller was selling.

    Intro's on the first day were, as expected, very henny! The pecking order was on full throttle, to say the least! Today? The odd nip but nothing worthy of note. So, within 3 days, all is settling down nicely.

    Now, come the warmer weather, I will need to amalgamate my resident flock with the mini-flock. This will be done via free-ranging expeditions and familiarisation. It could take weeks, may even take a couple of months - I'm ok with that because I will have more time then than I have now.


    Both approaches do work; but the safest approach is the gradual approach as opposed to the bung-em-in-at-the-deep-end one.
     

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