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introducing a new friend

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

  1. mickeymousears

    mickeymousears Songster

    Apr 29, 2011
    SLO; CA
    Someone in our town found a hen wondering the streets. She said she is very friendly but skinny. I offered to take her in if she can't find the owner. Then after I offered I thought I better look into this lol. So I have 2 hens and a rooster they are all about 4 months old and have been together from day 1. I also have 2 ducks -my mallard recently went missing [​IMG]- everyone gets along great. So how do I go about introducing a new friend to my flock? And should I be worried about disease? Knock on wood but everyone has been healthy so far they share a 2 story coop and have free range on the backyard all day (idk if that matters). I'm familiar with rabbits and parrots and introducing new animals with these species is often tricky-im hoping chickens are more accepting. Please share your thoughts!!

  2. tinychicky

    tinychicky Songster

    Mar 24, 2010
    Hollis, New Hampshire
    please quarentine the new bird for at least three weeks first as with any animal. besides disease, you could also spread parisites to your other birds.

    i'm afraid to say that chickens are not more accepting. far from it in fact. they live in such tight knit communities that introducing a single new bird, particularly an older hen or a rooster, into an established flock can sometimes prove impossible. lucky for you, you have young birds and a much better chance of intigration. the best way to go about this i find is, after the QT (quarentine ), place the new chicken in a cage in the new chicken's coop and leave her there for a while so they can become accustomed to one another's presence in the coop. initially they may fight through the cage bars, but you have to just let them unless they are seriously hurting one another. break up these fights and there will only be worse ones later on, so it's better to establish the new pecking order through cage bars than out in the yard where there are no barriers or places to retreat. after a week or two, take them to a peice of neutral territory (this may have to be in your basement, neighbor's house, ect. and let the new bird meet first the lowest in the current peck order (you can tell the the order by watching your flock to see who is allowed to peck who and who is not), then the next lowest, next lowest, ect. let each establish thier individual peck orders with one another. after this is done, let them all together in the chicken coop/run. there might be more squabbling but it'll be considerably calmer than if you'd just thrown the new chicken in the coop and walked away. good luck with the new chicken!
  3. mickeymousears

    mickeymousears Songster

    Apr 29, 2011
    SLO; CA
    Oh wow! Ok so for 3 weeks can she live in the house? And what am I looking for disease wise? Now I'm worried shell spread something to my tiel or buns- there really isn't any part of my property that doesn't have an animal in it (not to sound like a hoarder or anything- its just everyone has free rein and they like to stretch out) I'm going to hope her owner comes forward [​IMG]
  4. foxypoproxy

    foxypoproxy Songster

    Aug 2, 2011
    Madison, CT
    if its a stray definitely quarantine it.
    Abandoned chickens can catch tons of parasites, mites, sicksnesses, etc.
    I brought the chicken i found to the vet they treated him for mites, parasites, and a respiratory infection, that all could have been given to my other chicken (thank god i didn't introduce them yet)
    alot of the time you can't tell or it takes a long time to tell if a chickens sick so thats why its good to bring it to a vet anyway.
    if you can't find a vet, watch for symptoms like sneezing, discharge, head shaking, excessive cleaning (itching), vomiting, diarrhea, etc. If its sick it may also act oddly still and calm
    I definitely recommend you de-worm it if you can and get something to treat the mite if you think it has mites.
    I keep my rooster in a pet carrier in the house until its better.

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