Introducing 5 to flock

TheLittleFarm18

Songster
Apr 15, 2018
270
551
187
Central Illinois
I want to introduce five 1.5 year old buff orpingtons to my existing flock off 9 seven month old pullets.

I lost my 2 buffs and my rooster to a fox about 2 weeks ago. I have an opportunity to get the 5 buffs from a friend of my mothers.

After I keep separated to rule out illness how would you guys go about introducing the new 5 to the existing 9 free range pullets.
 

Mrs. K

Free Ranging
11 Years
Nov 12, 2009
8,881
11,084
636
western South Dakota
I would just put them in. The nine are younger, lower in pecking order, but full size, there are more of them, and they have home court advantage.

The buffs are a bit older, I would expect a bit bigger, know each other.

I am assuming that you do have enough room. I would set up some extra feed bowls. However, when I am at or near capacity on numbers, I think extra feed bowls help.

I have never had too much problem introducing several birds to a flock, I think one can have a lot of trouble introducing 1-2 birds. I would expect some skirmishes, and that about be it.

If you are nervous about it, put out your current flock, and lock the new girls in the set up in the early afternoon. Let the current birds back in at dusk. Usually they are more interested in going to roost, vs fighting. Do be up early in the morning to see and check on them.

Mrs K
 

TheLittleFarm18

Songster
Apr 15, 2018
270
551
187
Central Illinois
I would just put them in. The nine are younger, lower in pecking order, but full size, there are more of them, and they have home court advantage.

The buffs are a bit older, I would expect a bit bigger, know each other.

I am assuming that you do have enough room. I would set up some extra feed bowls. However, when I am at or near capacity on numbers, I think extra feed bowls help.

I have never had too much problem introducing several birds to a flock, I think one can have a lot of trouble introducing 1-2 birds. I would expect some skirmishes, and that about be it.

If you are nervous about it, put out your current flock, and lock the new girls in the set up in the early afternoon. Let the current birds back in at dusk. Usually they are more interested in going to roost, vs fighting. Do be up early in the morning to see and check on them.

Mrs K
Thank you. I just thought of another question. Will I need to keep new ones locked in coop/run for awhile until they learn to come home at night like you would for chicks?
 

Mrs. K

Free Ranging
11 Years
Nov 12, 2009
8,881
11,084
636
western South Dakota
Some on here really fret about that. I don't. However, I do have a run/coop set up that I can keep my whole flock in. So I don't ever lock them into the coop. In my experience, once they have roosted in the coop, mine go to the coop. If you want to be sure, leave them in the coop/run for two or three days. I would expect them to be acting like sub flocks, but all of them returning to the coop at night.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
94,865
125,242
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
After I keep separated to rule out illness how would you guys go about introducing the new 5 to the existing 9 free range pullets.
How will you do this?
You'll need to keep the free rangers away from the quarantined new birds.

Considering biological/medical quarantine:
BYC Medical Quarantine Article
BYC 'quarantine' search


Integration Basics:
It's all about territory and resources(space/food/water).
Existing birds will almost always attack new ones to defend their resources.
Understanding chicken behaviors is essential to integrating new birds into your flock.

Confine new birds within sight but physically segregated from older/existing birds for several weeks, so they can see and get used to each other but not physically interact.

In adjacent runs, spread scratch grains along the dividing mesh, best if mesh is just big enough for birds to stick their head thru, so they get used to eating together.

The more space, the better.
Birds will peck to establish dominance, the pecked bird needs space to get away. As long as there's no copious blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down and beaten unmercilessly, let them work it out. Every time you interfere or remove new birds, they'll have to start the pecking order thing all over again.

Multiple feed/water stations. Dominance issues are most often carried out over sustenance, more stations lessens the frequency of that issue.

Places for the new birds to hide 'out of line of sight'(but not a dead end trap) and/or up and away from any bully birds. Roosts, pallets or boards leaned up against walls or up on concrete blocks, old chairs tables, branches, logs, stumps out in the run can really help. Lots of diversion and places to 'hide' instead of bare wide open run.
 

TheLittleFarm18

Songster
Apr 15, 2018
270
551
187
Central Illinois
How will you do this?
You'll need to keep the free rangers away from the quarantined new birds.

Considering biological/medical quarantine:
BYC Medical Quarantine Article
BYC 'quarantine' search


Integration Basics:
It's all about territory and resources(space/food/water).
Existing birds will almost always attack new ones to defend their resources.
Understanding chicken behaviors is essential to integrating new birds into your flock.

Confine new birds within sight but physically segregated from older/existing birds for several weeks, so they can see and get used to each other but not physically interact.

In adjacent runs, spread scratch grains along the dividing mesh, best if mesh is just big enough for birds to stick their head thru, so they get used to eating together.

The more space, the better.
Birds will peck to establish dominance, the pecked bird needs space to get away. As long as there's no copious blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down and beaten unmercilessly, let them work it out. Every time you interfere or remove new birds, they'll have to start the pecking order thing all over again.

Multiple feed/water stations. Dominance issues are most often carried out over sustenance, more stations lessens the frequency of that issue.

Places for the new birds to hide 'out of line of sight'(but not a dead end trap) and/or up and away from any bully birds. Roosts, pallets or boards leaned up against walls or up on concrete blocks, old chairs tables, branches, logs, stumps out in the run can really help. Lots of diversion and places to 'hide' instead of bare wide open run.
I will keep them in my barn in other coop there...don't want two coops going until I get my back straightened out that' why I will eventually put them all together
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom