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Intergration and space requirement question

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by odysseychicken, Jan 18, 2016.

  1. odysseychicken

    odysseychicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 21, 2015
    I have two questions...

    I recently lost a chicken to a neighbors dog. We are looking to replace it. I found someone local who has some three month old birds (mine are 15 1/2 weeks). The ones I have found are a cross between a female Americana/ bantam Cochin and a male Cuckoo Maran. Can anyone tell me what I can expect from this cross? Temperament, egg production, egg color, etc?

    I have a 4x4 coop with external egg boxes and a large secure run. My birds are allowed to free range all day and are only confined to their run if we go out of town for a weekend. the five birds we have (now four) only ever go into the coop to sleep. My question is, with this set-up can I get away with six birds? I currently have two Black Australorps and two Buff Orpingtons. I am trying to decide whether I should get one or two of the mixes.

    Being that the new bird(s) will be about the same age can I just bring it home and introduce it into the flock? Or am I going to need to keep it separate for a while?

    I guess that is tree questions. Sorry.
     
  2. Paganrose

    Paganrose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I can't help with the temperament or egg capabilities.

    A 4x4 coop should house 4 chickens. 4sqft per bird.

    3 month old chickens should be able to integrate OK. Adding birds is best done at night or being able to get acquainted through a fence. But be cautious of chicken illnesses. I would quarantine any new birds for a bit to make sure it won't make your birds I'll.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2016
  3. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    Personally, with a coop that small, and especially with it being winter, I'd not add any more birds. Crowding leads to more aggression. Any new birds added will be at a huge disadvantage if added in the winter.
     
  4. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    If you are located in the USA, this is winter, and the birds are roosted up for very long nights. So the free ranging does not have that much effect. You really do not have enough room for 6 birds, and 5 is dang crowded, plus a single bird is a very difficult addition to make. All of the other birds will see a stranger, and will attack her. With the bantam cross, this bird will be smaller than the other, and they will attack that too. I don't think this is a good addition to your flock.

    I am thinking that the reason your flock has gotten along in that small of an area, is because they are not quite full grown. Often times we get posters on here that their flock was raised together and getting along well, and then all of a sudden they were not. What was enough space for chicks, becomes not enough space as the birds become full size.

    If this is your permanent set up, I think I would just keep the four. Any more birds in that set up and you are very apt to get some very ugly, aggressive behavior amongst the chickens. It can get to the point that they injure or kill one of the birds.

    Mrs K
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2016
    1 person likes this.

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