introducing new birds to flock

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by pacing EZ, Feb 1, 2015.

  1. pacing EZ

    pacing EZ Hatching

    Apr 22, 2013
    Hi all. I have 8 ladies now and want to get 6 more chicks this spring. How do I introduce the new chicks once they are old enough to go outside. I don't want my birds I have now hurti g them. I have Rhode island red breed and am thinking of getting that breed again. Any suggestions would be great also. Should I get a different breed I want a nice calm breed that gives large eggs and can withstand the cold winters of pa and being kenneled. Thanks
  2. Banjosan

    Banjosan In the Brooder

    Feb 20, 2014
    There are so many way to do this. Everyone has there own style one thing I think is crucial is to make sure they are almost the same size as the birds you have now. Also prior to the big mix in if they can be in the same run together but separated so they can check each other our for a few days that will help.
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Ditto the lots of ways.

    Here's some notes I've taken on integration that I found to be very helpful.
    See if any of them, or the links provided, might offer some tips that will assist you in your situation:

    Integration of new chickens to flock.

    Consider medical quarantine:
    BYC Medical Quarantine Article
    Poultry Biosecurity
    BYC 'medical quarantine' search

    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. Integrating new birds of equal size works best.

    For smaller chicks I used a large wire dog crate right in the coop for the smallers. I removed the crate door and put up a piece of wire fencing over the opening and bent up one corner just enough for the smallers to fit thru but the biggers could not. Feed and water inside the crate for the smallers. Make sure the smallers know how to get in and out of the crate opening before exposing them to the olders. this worked out great for me, by the time the crate was too small for the them to roost in there(about 3 weeks), they had pretty much integrated themselves to the olders.

    If you have too many smallers to fit in a crate you can partition off part of the coop with a wire wall and make the same openings for smallers escape.

    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 blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down, 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 and/or up and away from any bully birds.

    Read up on integration..... BYC advanced search>titles only>integration
    This is good place to start reading:
  4. pacing EZ

    pacing EZ Hatching

    Apr 22, 2013
    Thanks. I will check into it. I've gone thru adding new horses to a field but this is my first time with birds. Just don't want my 2 yr olds killing my younger gals

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