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Introducing new hens to each other and a new coop.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by urban dreamer, Nov 3, 2009.

  1. urban dreamer

    urban dreamer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 28, 2009
    Sherwood, AR
    I recently built a brand new coop for my hens. I have two barred rocks and I plan on getting one or two new hens on Saturday. Here's my questions: How to I introduce the BRs to there new home without irritating them and how do I introduce the new hens to my flock. I have been working on the new coop for a week or more right next to the old coop. The hens have seen its contruction from the ground up. My plan is to move the BRs into the new coop during the night and put the new girls in the old coop to both watch them for a few days and so the two groups can see each other through the safty of the wire. I figure this way, the BRs can get used to thier new home and the other hen(s) can get used to the BRs. Eventually I want to move all three or four hens into the new coop and recycle the lumber from the old one. Dose this sound like a good plan or dose anyone have any suggestions?
     
  2. KMHunter

    KMHunter [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG] Cr

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    My Coop
    Ok, here are my thoughts, after building a new coop, and integrating chicken a couple of minths ago. First, quarantine. The new ones need to be kept well away from your BR's for 30 days at least. Not even adjacent to each other. If I had it to do all over again. I would have put my original three in temporary housing,(I tore down the small coop to build a larger coop in it's place), and after quarantining the new ones(which I did), I would have put all of them in the new house at the same time, at night. So in the morning they would all be in the new digs, and not worrying so much about defending thier territory. Pecking order will still have to be established, and you will have to watch carefully for awhile to make sure no one get seriously injured, you can take the most aggressive one out for a few days if neccessary, but I would watch and see what they do. That is just my two cents.

    Edit to say- My BR is the most aggresive of my flock, so keep that in mind. I have heard that they tend to be top of the pecking order. It tooks 6 weeks before my BR stopped picking on the two new ones. She went to chicken timout, twice.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2009
  3. urban dreamer

    urban dreamer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 28, 2009
    Sherwood, AR
    My only real problem is I don't have a place to quarantine them. Thats why I was going to put them in the old coop for a month. My backyard is very small and the two coops have to be side by side (give or take a few feet). This is also why I want to tear down the old coop after I am finished with it because it dose take up alot of space. Since BRs are more aggressive you say, should I keep them in the old coop and then put the new birds in the new one? Im confussed as to what to do. I have two coops and will have two sets of birds with a very limited space backyard (I can not free-range, against city ordinence).
     
  4. KMHunter

    KMHunter [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG] Cr

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    Jun 12, 2009
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    My Coop
    Will the new girls be the same age or at least approx the same size? I would put the new girls in the new coop, and let them get used to the coop first. They will be the most stressed. Then in a month try to put the BR's in with them at night. That way, the new girls aren't stressed by moving twice and meeting new chickens. It may keep thier stress level lower, and keep them healthier. Good luck! I think it may be harder for us to watch the pecking order be established than it is for them.

    Edit to say- Your first post say you are getting one or two new hens. I would get at least two. It doesn't work well to integrate one hen in with two that are an established flock.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2009
  5. urban dreamer

    urban dreamer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 28, 2009
    Sherwood, AR
    I think that would work out best. The EE hen I want to get is about the same size but a year younger. I was also thinking about getting a Polish banty. Of my two BRs is far more dosile while the other I would swear was a rooster if she didn't lay. Im still not sure what breed I am gonna get. I will have to wait until Sarturday before anything is set in stone.
     
  6. KMHunter

    KMHunter [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG] Cr

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    Jun 12, 2009
    Woodinville,WA
    My Coop
    Keep in mind, Bantams are smaller and will very likely be heavily picked on. I love EE's. I have an Ameraucana from a breeder, but I intend to get some EE's this spring. I will not be integrating them into my original flock though, I had a hard time with it and vowed that i would just have seperate flocks. I have 4 acres though. If they decide to integrate themselves, then fine. The coops will be next to each other also. Much easier to take care of all the girls that way.[​IMG] I hope everything goes smoothly for you.[​IMG]
     
  7. urban dreamer

    urban dreamer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 28, 2009
    Sherwood, AR
    Thanks for the advice. Im still really nervous about this whole process. Im starting to think this might not be a good idea, but I've got the "chicken bug" real bad and I really want these hens.
     

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