Introducing two new chickens to my flock

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jakmak71, Oct 28, 2014.

  1. jakmak71

    jakmak71 In the Brooder

    Apr 13, 2014
    centerville, mn
    I had 4 hens, and one of them recently passed away for an unknown reason. I was going to get a few more next spring, but I have family in Arkansas which have many chickens. They are offering to send 2 hens home with my grandparents, and they are constantly free-ranged there. I live in MN and only let them into a bigger run every evening. I just want to know if it would be fine to bring those chickens into my flock, and how would I do it ? It is also fall, so the temperature is a little different from Arkansas to Minnesota right now.
  2. Judy

    Judy Crowing

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    You really should quarantine the new birds, to be safe. Then I would want a setup where they could be side by side but unable to get at each other for at least a week or two. Sometimes there is a lot more friction between two groups than others, and you may or may not need it.

    Lots of info here:
  3. jakmak71

    jakmak71 In the Brooder

    Apr 13, 2014
    centerville, mn
    The two new chickens are coming friday! Thanks for that link, I couldn't find anything about it.
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Here's some notes I've taken on integration that I found to be very helpful.
    See if any of them, or the links provided, might offer some tips that will assist you in your situation:

    Integration of new chickens to flock.

    Consider medical quarantine:
    BYC Medical Quarantine Article
    Poultry Biosecurity
    BYC 'medical quarantine' search

    Confine new birds within sight but physically segregated from older/existing birds for several weeks, so they can see and get used to each other but not physically interact. Integrating new birds of equal size works best.

    For smaller chicks I used a large wire dog crate right in the coop for the smallers. I removed the crate door and put up a piece of wire fencing over the opening and bent up one corner just enough for the smallers to fit thru but the biggers could not. Feed and water inside the crate for the smallers. Make sure the smallers know how to get in and out of the crate opening before exposing them to the olders. this worked out great for me, by the time the crate was too small for the them to roost in there(about 3 weeks), they had pretty much integrated themselves to the olders.

    If you have too many smallers to fit in a crate you can partition off part of the coop with a wire wall and make the same openings for smallers escape.

    The more space, the better. Birds will peck to establish dominance, the pecked bird needs space to get away. As long as there's no blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down, let them work it out. Every time you interfere or remove new birds, they'll have to start the pecking order thing all over again.

    Multiple feed/water stations. Dominance issues are most often carried out over sustenance, more stations lessens the frequency of that issue.

    Places for the new birds to hide out of line of sight and/or up and away from any bully birds.

    Read up on integration..... BYC advanced search>titles only>integration
    This is good place to start reading:
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