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Introducing new hens to my flock?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by vixchix, Nov 30, 2008.

  1. vixchix

    vixchix Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 5, 2008
    Illinois
    I have an opportunity to add eight more hens to my chicken coop, but I'm worried about whether the existing group will be accepting. I have eight hens already--and a rooster, of course--who have been together since the very beginning. It's a delicate balance, I know. So, can I help my friend out by taking on these additional hens or will it terminally damage the balance in the chicken house?
     
  2. mtnhomechick

    mtnhomechick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 27, 2008
    Mountain Home, AR
    It just takes a little time.

    I did it several times. Had to do food patrol to make sure the new ones got food.

    I introduced them at night so they could get a scent but not actually see the new ones.

    Then they pecked for a little while......like a few days.

    Helps it they're the same size.

    Make sure the new girls are healthy though. That would be my worry.

    It will work out as long as you have enough space for them.

    Good Luck,

    Mary
     
  3. litredhen

    litredhen Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 29, 2008
    Vermont
    Be cautious! I just introduced a rooster and now my hens are all sneezy! They say it's good to quarentine the new ones for up to a month before introducing? I did not do this.
     
  4. vixchix

    vixchix Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 5, 2008
    Illinois
    Thanks for the advice. I don't have the quarters to quarantine, so. . . I'm pretty sure the hens are healthy. I'd sure like to save them from a not-so-fortunate fate. Hmmmm. Just not sure what to do. I wouldn't want to jeopardize my own babies for anything--they're not babies REALLY, but they're my babies, you know. Introducing the new ones at night is an interesting idea.
     
  5. mtnhomechick

    mtnhomechick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 27, 2008
    Mountain Home, AR
    Quote:Yes. Just put the new ones on the roosts after the others are settled. Then in the morning they all come out together. Not quite so hard that way. It will still be a process though. Shouldn't last more than a few days IF they are the same size and IF there is adequate room in the run.
     
  6. Chickenaddict

    Chickenaddict Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 19, 2008
    East Bethel MN
    I highly reccomend quarentine at least for a few weeks even if its a box or rubber maid storage tote. If it means keeping your existing flock healthy i would be all for it. I have heard way tooo many horror stories about people who didn't quarentine and had some of their chickens died from an illness that was brought in from new chickens who appeared to be completely healthy. JMO
     
  7. the1much

    the1much Currently Birdless Hippy

    alot of "sick" birds are not sick,, but they are carriers ,, and with MOST of the diseases that can be carried and not "caught" by the host,,, can usually wipe out ya flock in days.,,, or they could carry a disease that makes the authorities cull ya whole flock.,,, i KNOW it sounds like alot of work for chickens,,, but seeing all the work you've already done go into the trash is very, very hard.
     
  8. happyheart

    happyheart Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 25, 2008
    Thornville, Oh
    I just did the same thing recently, I introduced 8 new girls to my exsisting 8 girls. They are doing fantastic!

    The other day all the new ones got to come out to free range for the first time and they absolutely loved it!

    Then I saw something in the field either a dog or a coyote so I had to round up all the girls and get them back into the pen. Well I had one that just had to be stubborn , but we finally got her and all were safe. [​IMG]
     
  9. vixchix

    vixchix Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 5, 2008
    Illinois
    Lots of good advice here! Thanks so much.
    I think I've decided to opt out of taking on the new girls. I just love my chickens too much to risk their health. The part that truly stinks is that my girls aren't laying anymore--haven't for months. They're only a little over 2 years old. Is this normal? Their coop is lighted. They get plenty of oyster shell. They all look extremely healthy and were great layers before.
    Anyway, you people are smart. Excellent counsel!
     
  10. the1much

    the1much Currently Birdless Hippy

    as they get older,, they slow down,, slow down ALOT more in the cold,, and during molt,, more then they did last year. and IMO if ya use lights, they end up really tiring ya hens out even faster,, they need to "slow down" when the days get shorter,, they need that break,, and IMO if ya use lights,, they over work themselves,, and when they do shut down,, its for longer then usual,,,,, but thats just my opinion [​IMG]
     

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