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Introducing chickens from the same previous flock

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by rak5085, Oct 12, 2015.

  1. rak5085

    rak5085 New Egg

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    Jun 14, 2015
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    We just got 4 beautiful 8 month old Rhode Island Reds and Partridge Rocks on Saturday (2 days ago)! They are settling in nicely (got our first egg after just one day!) and we're realizing that we have enough space to add 2 more. We are considering picking up 2 more from the same flock and the same farmer we just got them from. They would be the same 2 breeds, same age.

    Is there a need to go through a whole introductory period and quarantine since it's only been 2 days since they were together?

    Fast advice would be much appreciated since we'd prefer to get them today or tomorrow!
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Runs With Chickens Premium Member

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    No, chickens have great memories, two days isn't enough time for the original ones to feel comfortable in their new coop so there will be no territory disputes and there shouldn't be any pecking order problems.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2015
    1 person likes this.
  3. rak5085

    rak5085 New Egg

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    Jun 14, 2015
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    Thanks! That was my thought as well, but good to have it confirmed!
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Might work, but be ready to separate if it doesn't.
    Please post back to tell us how it goes, I'm curious.
     
  5. rak5085

    rak5085 New Egg

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    Jun 14, 2015
    Atlanta, GA
    So we ended up sneaking the 2 additional hens in Monday night when all the previous hens were in the coop roosting already. We didn't do it that way intentionally, it just happened to be getting dark by the time we got home. There was some squabbling when everyone woke up Tuesday morning and realized there were 2 additions but they are fine now!

    Actually, the biggest problem is the dominating hen (Punky, named for her punk rock swoop in her comb) picking on the littlest one (Peanut) and plucking out her neck feathers, but they are both original flock members before the 2 additions. I'm hoping the pecking order can get sorted out soon because it's sad to see her get picked on so much. When Peanut and one of the new Partridge Rocks went in the coop to roost last night Punky came in and kicked them both out so she could take up the whole roost. Poor Peanut tried 3 or 4 times to roost and kept getting kicked out. She had to wait until all the other hens went in before she could sneak in and sleep.

    In y'all's experience, how long does the pecking order take to work itself out? I know there's always some reminding but I'm hoping the blocking from food and roosting will stop soon. I'm making sure there's no blood in squabbles of course, but trying to let them sort it out on their own.
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Lots of space, multiple feed/water stations, multiple roosts, places to hide 'out of line of sight' (but not a dead end trap) and/or up and away from aggressors.........all help a great deal.

    It can take days..... or weeks.
    There will always be pecking by someone and the pecking order can change for reasons unapparent to us.
    As long as there is not copious bloodletting and/or no one is getting pinned down/trapped and beaten incessantly,
    it's best to let them work it out on their own.
    If you start separating the bullied or the bullies, you'll just have to start the integration all over again.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2015
    1 person likes this.
  7. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Runs With Chickens Premium Member

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    Unfortunately there's always a bottom bird, just make sure they can get away by getting up on things or under, or even behind. Your dominant hen is just exerting it in the new environment.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2015
  8. BierHuhn

    BierHuhn Out Of The Brooder

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    I am in a similar boat. I bought 2 birds and it's been about 3 weeks. The person I purchased them from says most likely, they'll be fine. Is 3 weeks too much time? Is getting only 1 not a good idea? Is it better to get 2 birds so they have at least one other more familiar buddy? Thanks all.
     
  9. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Runs With Chickens Premium Member

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    I agree they should still be fine, but there might be a bit of pecking order stuff because your first ones are feeling more comfortable, I would get two just in case, pick two that hang out together.
     
  10. BierHuhn

    BierHuhn Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 20, 2015
    thanks a lot!
     

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