1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!

introducing new hens to our girls.

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by kaboodlemum, Dec 30, 2015.

  1. kaboodlemum

    kaboodlemum Hatching

    Dec 30, 2015
    Hello! I'm a novice chicken owner and a newbie here on BYC... I have a question and I'm hoping I placed it in the right part of the forums... anywho...

    We have three hens who live on an allotment and are visited each day. Recently, a relative has agreed to take on 4 hens from someone who had to get rid of them after not being able to care for them any longer. They will come with their own coop, feeders, food ETC... My question is, Our girls are pretty settled and they've been together since the day we got them (probably before that but there's no telling!) there is plenty of room to accommodate the new hens but I am assuming that its the same for them, they're established with each other, have been together since 'whenever' and have their pecking order established too.

    I am assuming a group of 3 and a group of 4 hens are classed as flocks... so we'll need to combine two flocks. The thing I'm wondering most is how to go about this safely. My partner and his uncle will be sorting out the coop and bringing the new hens over, so I just want to gather as much information as possible so I can share it with them so they don't assume anything and the hens will all be able to readjust easily. I don't want any of then ending up hurt if we do something wrong!

    All and any advice massively appreciated!
    I hope everyone has had an amazing Christmas!
    Thanks for reading xxx

  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    Hi, there are lots of threads on this topic. Rather than go through the options here, you may wish to take a squizz at them and see what may suit you. Generally keeping them separate but within eyesight of each other for a few weeks is probably the way to go.

    Good luck

    Last edited: Dec 30, 2015
  3. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Crowing

    Does the coop coming with the new birds have an attached run as well? If not fence in an area for them around their coop. Then just let them stay in there for a couple weeks while everybody gets used to each other. You need to be there to supervise when you first start letting them out together to make sure things don't get out of hand. There will be pecking order scuffles, you just want to make sure blood doesn't start flying. Also keep in mind that whenever you bring in new chickens or move chickens to new property they are very susceptible to coccidiosis, it would be wise to treat all the birds, new and old, preventatively with Corid to protect them.

    Edited to add:
    Corid powder - 1/3 teaspoon per gallon of water x 5 days
    Corid liquid - 1/2 teaspoon per gallon x 5 days.
    Make it up fresh every day
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2015
  4. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    When bringing in new birds, you do need to look them over carefully for lice or mites. And if there is a bird that is sick, runny nose, or lethargic don't take them! Adding new birds can bring parasites or disease to your original group.

    Check the measurements of the area, both the coop and the run. You are doubling your flock, and the number one cause of problems in a flock is not enough space. Set up a second feeder and waterer.

    Personally, I have added chickens to my flock several times, and I think of it as plus and minuses:

    3 hens + home territory is about equal to 4 hens, new territory. I would not expect a great deal of trouble. You certainly can do the "separate but can see" approach if you set up allows that, but in this situation, with full grown birds, close to the same size, in enough space, I would not expect there to be a great deal of trouble.

    There is a good chance of scuffles, but unless there is blood, it is best to let them work it out. This will be a bit discombobulated for a couple of days. And if they are laying now, it is not uncommon for them to stop for a couple of days. I would expect this not to be a huge deal.

    Good luck,

    Mrs K
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Can you put the new coop/run with birds right next to the existing coop and birds?
    Hard to envision the situation.

    But being as you're not there all the time, I would keep the flocks confined separately if at all possible.

    Putting them all into the same coop/run could be big trouble unless it's really big ...and even then.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by