Just 2 chickens - adding one more

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by rwgrout, Apr 26, 2012.

  1. rwgrout

    rwgrout Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2011
    I've read the many posts but wondering if there is a difference for numbers? I have just 2 chickens - happy and healthy 8 month old barred rock hens. I would like to add one more of a different breed and near same age. Since I'm adding just one do you think the whole quarantine process is necessary or do you think she'll just know she's the new kid on the block? Would a day of free range, putting them together in the coop at night and then a 2nd day of free range would be sufficient?

    Any thoughts????
  2. Cluky

    Cluky Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 13, 2012
    I think there is always a risk adding another chicken in however usually it would go well. I am sure they would go through period of trying to figure out the pecking order though [​IMG]
  3. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    Quarantine is a very good idea if you want to be sure the new bird doesn't have some nasty disease that can spread to and kill your other birds.

    As far as integrating the new bird, I'd fence off a part of their run for her and keep her in there for a few days so they can get used to each other without being able to make contact. Free ranging together as you mentioned is a good idea also. I would not just pop her into the coop at night, when they wake up in the morning they know full well there is a stranger in the coop and she could be badly pecked. I've had hens that accepted newbies fairly easily and I've had a few who were really, really terrible. I usually put the new hen in the coop at night in a wire dog crate so they can also get used to seeing her in there. I do this anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks just depending on how the other's are doing with accepting her.

    I've learned to be very careful integrating new birds after treating some really nasty wounds from pecking!
  4. CorinneP

    CorinneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 19, 2012
    Up State New York
    If I bring home a New Mature Hen I also have a large Kennel I keep her in for a couple days the other chickens check her out and I feed her and water her making sure she knows I am food.. I only introduce new Hens to My Free Ranging Coop .. In My closed coop I am much more careful . After almost two days I let her out to get to know the place. I Have had a few that were not as welcomed as the others and even hid a day or so on me .. But have never had one disappear or be hurt bad .. No Adding another New Mature Roo ( And I occasionally adopt an unwanted one .. That's another Story !! They will Fight and carry on until the decision is made who the Big man on Campus is .. Usually doesn't take long : )
  5. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    Agree. It's a lot easier if the attention isn't focused on just one new bird. Plus that's a really good reason/excuse to get a few more instead of just one! [​IMG]
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2012
  6. rwgrout

    rwgrout Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2011
    WOW - I'm glad I asked. I'd have thought adding a single hen would be easier than adding 2. Now I have an excuse to get a pair! [​IMG]

    Thanks for all the words of advice, I will go the route of quarantine, kennel and fenced off run. Much appreciated.
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2012
  7. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    Yup, bunch of enabler's we are on this forum! Always ready with any reason at all why a person needs MORE chickens! [​IMG] Good luck with your new girls!
  8. yolaleah

    yolaleah Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 29, 2015

    I fully recognize that this post is 4 years old but I'm in the exact same boat! I've done a lot of research on how to integrate but our numbers are much lower than what others talk about. We live in Chicago and recently lost one of our three hen flock. The hen that is no longer with us was the the top of the pecking order and the two that remain are very docile. But from what I've heard that can change when introducing. Still we really don't have room for four hens in our small city backyard, so I want to introduce just one more hen. We're considering getting one chick and very slowly introducing, after a period of quarantine and keeping them separate with different runs and sleeping areas for awhile. And of course after spending the required amount of time in the brooder.

    OP - did you end up introducing one? How did it go? Has anyone else introduced just one chicken to a two hen flock?

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