Introducing a new hen to a 13 week old, 5 hen flock.

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Yardbird Posse, Jul 30, 2013.

  1. Yardbird Posse

    Yardbird Posse In the Brooder

    13
    0
    24
    May 3, 2013
    I would love some tips on the best way to introduce a new hen to our young flock. We just came to realize that one of our beloved RIR hens, "Loretta", is actually a "Henry!" Even though he doesn't know the words yet, he's been practicing his cock-a-doodle-doos in the coop every morning and that a big deal breaker for our new backyard flock.

    I have someone interested in adding him to their flock so we don't have to worry about culling him or someone eating him but we want to obtain a replacement, preferably a Barred Rock since we like them the most out of our 2 RIR's, 2 SLW's, & 2 PBR's. We want to keep the hen count at 6 since we're in a joint venture with our next door neighbor and will want the egg supply.

    I think I can get a new hen from some local breeders that are close to the same age as our flock or maybe a bit older. How should we introduce the new addition when the time comes? Anything I should worry about?
     

  2. Whittni

    Whittni Crowing

    3,671
    265
    281
    Mar 26, 2011
    Southern Utah
    You should introduce them through a fence of some kind, like chicken wire or a dog crate. Do that for a least a couple weeks an then let them interact in an open or large area with hiding spots. There will be pecking on either sides for about a week to work out the pecking order but then everyone will be settled in.
     
  3. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

    5,395
    2,456
    406
    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    It is rather tough on a single bird to add it to a flock. All the hens know it is new, and all will peck it.

    If you only want to get a single bird, then I would recommend getting an older bird. She would be slightly bigger than the others and that would give her an advantage over the flock against her. Introduce her at night, and I don't think it will be much of a problem. But she might be a loner for some time, but eventually the flock will meld as the younger birds mature.

    You might consider, getting rid of two or three of your original flock, and adding two or three new birds. In this case, I would want to get birds very close to the same size as the birds I currently have. A bit more chaos, but generally will settle in a couple of days, and your flock will have better dynamics, quicker.

    Mrs K
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by