Introducing new hens to my flock

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by LarryMayes, Jan 25, 2017.

  1. LarryMayes

    LarryMayes New Egg

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    Feb 4, 2016
    Enoree, South Carolina
    I have 16 (14 hens & 2 roosters) New Hampshires (one year old) and want to expand my flock. A person has offered 6 black australorp that are 4 years old. Can I simply put them in with my flock? From what I've read that breed is very docile as are my NH.
     
  2. IdyllwildAcres

    IdyllwildAcres Chillin' With My Peeps

    After quarantine (30 days 400' from your coop) I would then divide the coop off and do don't look don't touch for a couple weeks maybe?

    I have no experience with integration, but from everything I have read I have decided I am having a closed flock, no new adult birds only new chicks. You could easily wipe out the whole flock with an illness or risk the flock becoming carriers of something

    I wouldn't do it

    Good luck

    Gary

    PS, [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2017
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC!
    Curious as to why you'd want 4 year old hens, you must not keep chickens for egg production.

    Quarantine is something to think about.
    Both groups can carry disease, with no outward indications, that the other group is not immune to.
    The financial and/or emotional risk is up to you.
    Consider biological/medical quarantine:
    BYC Medical Quarantine Article
    BYC 'medical quarantine' search


    No matter how docile a breed might be, territoriality is still going to be an issue.
    The existing birds are not going to be happy to share their resources(space/feed/water) with new 'strangers'.
    Read up on integration..... BYC advanced search>titles only>integration
    This is good place to start reading, tho some info is outdated IMO:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/adding-to-your-flock
     
  4. LarryMayes

    LarryMayes New Egg

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    Feb 4, 2016
    Enoree, South Carolina
    Thanks for the advice. I'll wait until I can build another coop.
     
  5. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    Hi, welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    Both other posters gave great information.

    I would avoid those 4 year old hens unless you are planning a retirement community. The whole point for most people to expand their flock is to continue egg production... aside from just shear joy of course. Those ladies are nearing the end of their production if they haven't already quit laying..... And possibly nearing the end of their days all together. [​IMG] The stress of moving and adding them to another flock might even induce underlying conditions.

    If you would really like to expand... I suggest adding a few new layers (chicks) each spring. Every bird that is over a year old will molt come fall winter, during which time they will lay ZERO eggs, usually for a couple months at least. By adding a few new layers each year, you will always have eggs.... And you will be expanding your flock! [​IMG]

    Also, since you have hens and roosters.... could probably get your own chicks to expand your flock and keep it closed if you like. I would think in a flock your size..... losing the entire flock would be costly aside from the stress of it happening. Another coop isn't the issue, if your original has plenty of space. Many people do integrate birds. Many people try their best at quarantine before hand. And many others just toss them in and take their chances because they either don't have the understanding or aren't too worried about a loss. And plenty of people lie about doing it! My flock is usually over 40. So a big illness could devastate the flock and hurt my wallet. Plus the time I have invested into my current flock... picking them out, raising them, bonding... All of my birds have names and are recognized as individuals. The emotional toll that would take (even though we do eat our chickens), might ruin the whole chicken keeping experience for me.

    So pluses and minuses weighed.... doesn't sound like you come out very far ahead with this set of Australorp, which are supposed to be nice birds. I am getting a couple as the LFS is getting them in their first shipment as well as Welsumer.

    My final suggestion would be.... when expanding your flock, pick breeds YOU are interested in. It makes for much more fun! I enjoy having a diverse flock of eye candy in my yard and being able to tell them apart. And it makes me feel like a kid again when I get to collect different colored eggs! Plus it helps me to know if an individual is having health or laying issues if I can identify who's egg I am inspecting or who didn't lay. I would like to try a couple New Hampshire, but they aren't really at most feed stores here and shipping doesn't do great to my area, aside from the usual minimum of 15-25 being too many for me right now.

    I hope you enjoy BYC as much as I have. It has changed my chicken keeping life fur ever! [​IMG]
     
  6. LarryMayes

    LarryMayes New Egg

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    Feb 4, 2016
    Enoree, South Carolina
    Thanks for taking the time to share all that information. I'm still a rookie so I appreciate any advice
     

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