Introducing new hen

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Squirrelletta, Nov 25, 2009.

  1. Squirrelletta

    Squirrelletta In the Brooder

    Nov 14, 2009
    Fort Myers
    OK, so my coop's almost done and a store near me has chicks I'd like to purchase 2 of (white leg and a aracuna? (sp? One of the EE'ers I think you guys call em) and a guy up the road sells some Buff Orping's that I'd like to have one of. The BO is 10 weeks and the store has hens that are young, but don't need the light (pullets?)


    I know I've heard chickens will kill each other, but if they are from different areas, ages and new to thenew home, are they still aggressive to hens they haven't met? Am I making any sense? LOL

    What is the rule of thumb?

    Thanks! I'm new obviously! [​IMG]
  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    Babies shouldn't be put with adults until they are about 16 weeks old.
  3. Squirrelletta

    Squirrelletta In the Brooder

    Nov 14, 2009
    Fort Myers
    Where can I find the "age" groups.

    Whats considered an adult, whats a pullet (someone said a chemically castrated roo?!?! I thought it was just an age description!) Yikes.

    The Buff Orping is only 10 weeks, not an adult, can she go with the slightly younger 2 hens?
  4. Country Heart

    Country Heart City Girl With A

    When I put together my microflock, I put together one 16-week old, one 12-week old and two ten-week old pullets. After a short time of introduction, everyone settled into their order nicely. They settled out in age order and have remained that way. I think ideally you would want them all to be within a few weeks of each other, but this age spread worked out fine for me.

    Welcome to the club. [​IMG]
  5. pixie74943

    pixie74943 Songster

    May 25, 2009
    Adelaide, Australia
    Hen ='s Female chicken over a year
    Pullet ='s Female chicken under a year

    Rooster ='s Male chicken over a year
    Cockeral ='s Male chicken under a year

    Capon is a castrated cockeral. In theory they grow faster and can be butchered earlier, but I've never seen anyone suggest it. Most people say its a waste of effort and doesnt have enough growth to make it worth the suffering on the bird.

    Basically, you're waiting till their approximately 12 - 16 weeks. You want all the birds to be roughly the same size. Make sure they meet in neutral territory (to busy exploring to fight as much) and be ready to stand and watch them for about 20minutes.

    Also, make sure you're around at bed time, they're going to have some fights working out who sleeps where, and you need to make sure they end up sleeping in the right place.

    Only thing I dont know about is Quarantine, and whether you should keep them seperated into groups from where they came from, or whether they will be safe to go together straight away.
  6. lngrid

    lngrid Songster

    People here say they've had the best luck putting a new chicken in with the flock after dark when everyone's asleep. They seem to accept each other better when they wake up together.

    I've also read here that you should keep new birds quarantined from the rest of the flock for 30 days. They should be far enough apart that airborne diseases can't spread. I've heard that a bird can look and be perfectly healthy but be shedding germs that would sicken a bird without immunity.

    Good luck with your birds and I hope you enjoy them a lot!
  7. Squirrelletta

    Squirrelletta In the Brooder

    Nov 14, 2009
    Fort Myers
    There is no flock, they would all be new. (exceptthe two that did come from the same group at the store.

    But I'm getting the idea, thanks!

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