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Intergreting new chickens into my flock

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by katiehair3, Apr 16, 2012.

  1. katiehair3

    katiehair3 Hatching

    Apr 16, 2012
    I currently have a flock of chickens (14 hens, 1 rooster) which are very healthy and happy. I allow my chickens to free range and lock into the coop at night. This past weekend I bought three silkies (which I believe to be 2 hens and 1 rooster) at an auction. However, I am scared to incorporate these new chickens into my current flock because I do not know the slightest bit how these chickens have been raised this far. They appear to be alert, happy, and healthy but I do not want to take any chance of introducing any disease to my current flock. Currently I have them locked into a coop with an enclosure on one side and wire run on the other side. On the bottom I spread diatomaceous earth and pine shavings. I also gave them some of the food I feed my flock and water. I put the coop on a section of my property where my flock rarely free ranges. Any suggestions with how I should handle incorporating my new chickens with my current flock...thank you!

  2. ChickChickChicky

    ChickChickChicky Songster

    Dec 22, 2011
    Greater Kansas City, MO
    I know in my mind that a 30 day quarantine is in order before adding new birds, so you are lucky that you have the space to do just that. I have to confess though, that I've not had the patience or the room to do that and twice have ended up just throwing the new in with the old, with satisfactory results (knock on wood).

    It's also said that you're supposed to cage the new birds next to the old, where they can see each other but not interact, for a number of days or weeks (I guess to let them acclimate to each other gradually). As I said, I didn't do that... but I did make sure to have LOTS of treats available all 'round when I tossed them in together (keep plenty of treats coming for 24 hours), and also did so late in the afternoon/evening (just before their bedtime). Yes there were some sqwaks and running and mournful sounds as everyone adjusted, but I suspect the same would be true if you moved the new birds 10 feet or 10 miles (to their new home). Within 48 hours everything had worked itself out and I had a new, combined flock.

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