Learning about chicken math

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Hottchick, Sep 29, 2010.

  1. Hottchick

    Hottchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, my first group of chicks is 8 weeks old. I have 3 white Leghorn pullets and 4 black sex link pullets. Love them all. However, I just have this crazy idea that I would like some brown or red to go along with the black and white. Maybe stupid, but I'm sure most of you get it:[​IMG]. I have seen locally ads for 13 week old Rhode Island Red pullets and also for 4 1/2 -5 month old Easter Eggers, Barred Rock and Buff Orpington.

    Would it make sense to try to introduce slightly olders hens to the ones I have? Would that lessen the likelihood of them being picked on being that mine are still so young? I don't want to wait until they're older and really have an established pecking order to disrupt.

    I know my husband will think I'm crazy but it won't be the first time![​IMG]
     
  2. dsqard

    dsqard Crazy "L" Farms

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    The main thing you want to think of is making sure you quarrantine any new birds you get. Some people suggest two weeks, some four. Once you have done that you can start integrating the two flocks. There are a lot of threads that you can search for to find out the best methods. I totally understand how the chicken math catches you! [​IMG]
     
  3. PamB

    PamB Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 20, 2010
    Dayville, CT
    You'll need them to be around the same size before integrating them. I recently integrated two older silkies with my 12 younger ones. The older ones are a bit bigger and I do think that helped them a bit. It took a few days, but they seem to be one happy flock already. Silkies are not known to be an aggressive breed, but the pecking and chasing was pretty relentless at first. So, be prepared for that. However, as long as their is no blood, it is best to just let them reestablish the pecking order and not interfere.
     
  4. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Well, you'd be surprised, but there's already a pecking order in your small flock. It starts in the brooder. Then it's upset when they move outside to the coop; every location change (territory) and introduction of new chickens causes the pecking order to be re-established.

    But it IS easier when they're younger, that's true. And if you're going to introduce new flock-members, try to add at least two, if not 3 at a time. Don't ever do just one bird, if you can help it. A single newbie can be picked on by everybody, and will be... and it might get ugly.

    Also, my integration process is to set up the new members in their own little "grow out" coop, with their own separate run. I just put up a temporary fence inside the main run with garden stakes and chicken wire. This allows everybody to see everybody else, hear 'em, get to know 'em and even do chest bumps through the chicken wire. In two, to three weeks, I take down the temp fence and let everybody mingle. The original flock simply goes, "Oh, it's just you, you're not a Stranger, we know you. Just remember WE get to eat first and WE get first chance at all treats!"

    For this reason, always have two feeders and two waterers available when you integrate new birds into your established flock.

    And as for your reason for wanting more chickens? PERFECTLY logical to me. I'm officially a chicken hoarder, now. I must have at least ONE of all the breeds on my wish list! Mwaaahahahahhahahaha.... (Whoops, that did sound rather maniacal, didn't it??)

    Any of the breeds you mentioned would be good additions to your flock. I'd lean more towards the Buff Orps, the Barred Rocks, and the EEs, before the RIR. (I have a RIR, she's fine, but not as friendly as the others I have in those other breeds.)
     
  5. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    I agree with dsgard. Your priority should be 30 day quarantine before introducing new chickens. Thirty days will give you enough time to inspect and observe them, and time for any necessary treatments.
     
  6. Hottchick

    Hottchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quarantine could be a problem. How do people generally do that? I have a beautiful coop. One coop. A nice fenced in run area. Maybe I just have to stick with the 7 I have?
     
  7. cheri222

    cheri222 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just rec 2 young silkie hens today(3mo). I have them in one of those large dog kennels in my sunroom. I am building a temp run for them during the day that I can also put the kennel into. I will bring them back in at night. They are just so cute and I would love to let them in the coop but not worth having a sick chicken over or worse yet having them die. I did the same thing with our silkie rooster 2 months ago. Darn chicken math the big girls weren't nice to him so of course I had to get him 2 girls to love him up! Think Im done till next spring when some eggs may get missed and accidently hatch. Anyone ever try that one? I don't think dh will fall for it.
     
  8. Hottchick

    Hottchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I wish I could get some day olds. My problem would be that I live nowhere near a major city and would have to get more than I want. 3 would be great. Someone nearby want to split a chick order? I live in NE North Carolina, near the Virginia border. I could handle a few chicks in the dining room in a box for a while longer.

    Any takers?
     
  9. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    Wish I lived closer. I've been wanting a few Black Star chicks. I hope you find someone who'll split an order with you. Good luck.
     
  10. Adorkable

    Adorkable Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I can't wait to try this... i hope it works! [​IMG]
     

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