Introducing New Chickens

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Nate19, Mar 18, 2016.

  1. Nate19

    Nate19 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 1, 2015
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    I currently have 8 chickens (mixed breeds) that I raised from chicks. They were vaccinated by the hatchery for Marek's disease.

    I am looking to add 2 more chickens to the flock. I have a friend willing to give me (2) 2-3 year old chickens since he is downsizing his flock. The chickens were never vaccinated for Marek's but appear healthy and happy.

    What concerns should I have with introducing these 2 new chickens?
     
  2. TheTwoRoos

    TheTwoRoos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Are they super aggressive?
    Are you positive they are not sick?
     
  3. Nate19

    Nate19 Out Of The Brooder

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    Ohio
    I haven't laid eyes on his chickens yet. I will check them out for anything obvious when I go over there next week. I don't believe they are overly aggressive, although I'm sure there will be some sorting out of the pecking order should I choose to introduce them.
     
  4. TheTwoRoos

    TheTwoRoos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There is a difference in the pecking order and bloody fights.Usually the first fight with all the birds makes the pecking order.
    The first few days will probably be bloody or just hurtful fights,but once the birds have kinda emerged into the flock they will probably have found their place in the flock.
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Concerns would be first be biosecurity, either birds could infect the others....... and then space and sequence for integration.
    Not sure on the Mareks vaccination issue, would be good to start a thread, or do a search, with Mareks in the title.



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

    Integration of new chickens into flock.


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

    It's about territory and resources(space/food/water). Existing birds will almost always attack new ones.
    Understanding chicken behaviors is essential to integrating new birds into your flock.

    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.

    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.

    In adjacent runs, spread scratch grains along the dividing mesh, best of mesh is just big enough for birds to stick their head thru, so they get used to eating together.

    Another option, if possible, is to put all birds in a new coop and run, this takes the territoriality issues away.

    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.

    Best example ever of chick respite and doors by azygous https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1069595/introducing-chicks-to-adults#post_16276224


    Read up on integration..... BYC advanced search>titles only>integration
    This is good place to start reading:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/adding-to-your-flock
     
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