Is this too much change....a whole lot of mixing going on! HELP PLEASE!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by johnson5under5, Nov 25, 2012.

  1. johnson5under5

    johnson5under5 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 16, 2012
    We have 5, 30 week old hens (2 black austrolorps and 3 easter eggers) The farm down the street was selling some of their 2 1/2 RIR to replenish their flock. I brought 8 of them home along with a young (under a year) Black Austrolorp rooster. HHHHOOOOWWWW do I mix these flocks? Should I mix the rooster in with my 5 existing birds to get them used to a "he" first? Should I keep him with the girls he has been used to, and let them all mix together at once (free ranging) Right now I have the two coops in the same area ( i know these people and their birds well) , my 5 who I let free range all day have been checking them out and hanging out around the new coop seeing what all this is about. I have kept the "new girls, and guy" in the coop. What next?
     
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    Keep the new guys separate from your flock for the first month, so you can make sure they're not carrying any disease or something nasty like mites, then introduce them all at once. If they can see and talk to each other it's good, it'll help when you introduce them properly after the month.
     
  3. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    Are you worried about disease at all? If so, you want to keep the birds completely separate for two weeks minimum. That means no birds touching and as much space between the coops as possible. To do it right, you even want to make sure that you feed your birds first every time, and make sure you've changed clothes and disinfected your shoes and washed your hands before you touch your birds after you've touched the new birds.

    If you're not worried about disease and don't plan to quarantine, you're pretty much set since you have two coops. Let your birds look at the newbies through the fence for a few days, then let the newcomers out. Make sure there's lots of room for anyone who's being picked on to get away from the instigator. Expect some squawking and pecking as they establish a new pecking order, and watch closely for any blood. If there's blood, that's when you need to intervene. Allow the newcomers to go to bed in their own coop for a few days. It shouldn't take more than a couple of days for the flocks to mix since they're all adults. If the rooster is any good, he'll take control and keep the hens from fighting.

    Don't be surprised if the flocks never really "mix." You might end up with two separate groups of chickens that happen to share the same space.
     

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