1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Introducing new chickens - or actually, making a new flock

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by watchdogps, Jul 11, 2011.

  1. watchdogps

    watchdogps Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,375
    13
    153
    Jun 4, 2011
    Central Ohio
    I am planning to get my first chickens in the next couple weeks. I'll be getting two from one place, one from another place and 6-10 from yet another place. I doubt I will be able to get them all at the same time as they are in different directions. I will get them as close together as I can. However, if there are any precautions I should take for intros, please let me know, I dont want anyone getting hurt!
    Oh, and the two are year old silkies but the rest are going to be about 7-9 week old bantams
     
  2. Fritatta

    Fritatta Chillin' With My Peeps

    219
    0
    79
    May 16, 2011
    Woodstock, GA
    I would put the youngest ones in first. They will get the lay of the land and stake out their places. Then a week or so later add the next group. then another week, add the 2 year olds. under supervision, of course. Make sure there are lots of hiding places (hay bales?) and lots of roosts. and 2-3 places with food and water.
    cross your fingers and say please to the chicken gods. tell goodnight stories. O that reminds me, add each group at NIGHT. some folks say when they all wake up they wont know who was there when.

    Then of course you will have the normal pecking order issues and when the boys come of age, everything changes.

    Lots of space, resources, observation and love. what else can you do?
     
  3. froggiesheins

    froggiesheins Overrun With Chickens

    6,019
    234
    306
    Oct 14, 2010
    Jurupa Valley, CA
    QUARENTINE the three groups FIRST! DO NOT LET THEM NEAR EACH OTHER TILL YOU GO thru at least a 2 week quarentine please. IF someone has an illness you sure don't want to introduce it to the whole bunch. I agree about getting the young ones first...get them established in your coop/run. Then get the 2nd set of new-bees and have them in a separate temporary house till you know they are healthy....etc.....etc.....Hope that helps and have fun with your peeps![​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  4. watchdogps

    watchdogps Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,375
    13
    153
    Jun 4, 2011
    Central Ohio
    I may not have a choice as to who gets here first, just depends on where I need to go first as to who I pickup first. I do however have plenty of room to set up temporary holdings. Once we are to the intro part, should I bring them into the coop and have new ones in their own mini-coop for a day or longer, or just dump them all in?
     
  5. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    The lucky thing is that the mature birds you're getting are silkies, usually a very mild, easy going breed. I would avoid getting a single bird. If there's a way to partition off your run so that everyone has a chance to be exposed to one another for a week or two - that would be great. Of course that presumes you run is securely covered so that you could just use a dog crate or something for shelter.
    As was mentioned - quarantining is best to make sure all birds are healthy and won't pass anything to the other birds...
    Once the flock is combined, make sure there is more than one feeder and waterer available (set apart) so that everyone has a chance to eat/drink without being assaulted.
     
  6. turbodog

    turbodog Chillin' With My Peeps

    539
    3
    131
    Feb 21, 2010
    Independence, La.
    Quote:Once they've all passed quarantine, I'd just put em all in together. It looks like most will be about the same size, so you won't have a whole gang of larger birds harassing a few smaller ones.
    They'll sort out their pecking order again, so there will be some fussing, but it shouldn't be brutal.

    Teach1rusl had the right idea about the extra feeder/waterer. I did that when I mixed my 6 BCM's in with a larger group of older EE's just to make sure the smaller chicks could get to food and water. Worked well. The younger birds were able to get what they needed from one when the older birds were at the other. Since most of yours will be close in age/size this may not be as much of an issue but it's something to try if it is.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2011
  7. froggiesheins

    froggiesheins Overrun With Chickens

    6,019
    234
    306
    Oct 14, 2010
    Jurupa Valley, CA
    Another suggestion...if you temporary housing is mobile, once quarentine is over put the cage right next to OR inside the run area and let everyone check everyone out like that. Do that for a day or so. Then let them loose, and stay to watch to supervise in case you need to interviene. There will be the initial mad dash and mega-cackling running jumping up high and all that when the new-bees first are "greeted" by the flock.......Make sure you have roosts, where ever they are turned loose together for the first time, so the new-bees have a safe place to jump up to. They feel safe up high on a tree or roosting spot. I gab alot.....[​IMG] [​IMG]
    Hope my gabbing helps and most of all:

    Have fun with your peeps! [​IMG] [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by