mixing already grown hens?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Ericasl, Feb 22, 2008.

  1. Ericasl

    Ericasl Chillin' With My Peeps

    594
    0
    159
    Feb 21, 2008
    The Dalles OR
    Hello to all, I am very new with chickens!! I had some when I was a kid, but now I am all grown up with my own. We got 6 hens on Feb 17th (almost a year old) and 1 two year old. They seem very happy they have free range of 1 acre to roam and a nice coop. I really have two questions. We got eggs the day after we got them 2 or 3 a day. I was shocked I thought It would take a week or so to settle in!! Then yesterday nothing?? Also can you mix already grown hens, we know have somebody who cannot keep there 5 hens (almost a year). Is it not a good idea to mix them??


    Thanks Erica:rolleyes:
     
  2. DuckLady

    DuckLady Administrator Staff Member

    32,382
    1,094
    511
    Jan 11, 2007
    Washington State
    Hi Erica, Welcome to BYC!
    What happens is that you got the eggs at first because they were already on the way to being laid. Then the settling in period after that.

    You can mix grown hens, just quarantine them for up to 30 days to make sure they don't bring any disease into your flock. Check for mites and dust as needed and for scaly leg mites and treat as necessary. Watch the poo, general behavior and health.

    We are here to help!
     
  3. Ericasl

    Ericasl Chillin' With My Peeps

    594
    0
    159
    Feb 21, 2008
    The Dalles OR
    HI, thanks for the info. I just went out to give my ladies fresh water and some apples, and I had a nice brown egg waiting for me!!Also two more hens in the boxes. I have two hens that sit in the same box together!! They are so funny. I am sure I will have many questions....

    Thanks
    Erica
     
  4. DrakeMaiden

    DrakeMaiden Overrun with Drakes

    Jun 8, 2007
    Kitsap County, WA
    Welcome Erica!

    If you search the forum you can find a thread or two about quarantining new birds. It is best to keep the new birds up-wind and change your shoes and wash your hands (at least) between pens. It can be a pain though.

    I just had two of my youngest ducks, who are sisters, lay two eggs together in one nest this morning (they just started laying). I thought it was really cute too!
     
  5. NYREDS

    NYREDS Overrun With Chickens

    5,644
    371
    303
    Jan 14, 2008
    Personally I think the idea of a 30 day quarantine is overkill to say the least.
    I have been raising poultry for over 40 years and I don't do it, never have and most likely never will. I would also add that I've never had reason to wish I had quaranteened for that long.
    If I am bringing in birds from a known source and the birds appear healthy I usually don't quarantine at all. On the very rare occasion that I bring in a bird from a source I haven't visited I will keep the birds seperated for a week or so but no longer.
    Think about it, wild birds fly over your property daily and in most cases land in poultry runs and even get inside coops. Each one of these wild birds are much more of a threat to your birds than are hens from just down the road, especially if the hens appear healthy.
     
  6. DuckLady

    DuckLady Administrator Staff Member

    32,382
    1,094
    511
    Jan 11, 2007
    Washington State
    That's good to know, NYREDS.
    If you re-read I said UP TO 30 days.
    There are many variables. I have quarantined some for a few days, watched carefully and let them in with the rest. Some I have kept longer, depending on illness, mites or what have you. Many a member has come to tragedy by not quarantining long enough. Maybe when we all have your experience we can be better equipped to judge better, but until we are, we are all new at this at one point.
    It never hurts to be careful, no matter what is flying overhead.
     
  7. DrakeMaiden

    DrakeMaiden Overrun with Drakes

    Jun 8, 2007
    Kitsap County, WA
    Birds that appear healthy can carry diseases that they are resistant to. In that case, quarantine will only delay when you have to deal with a possible infection to your established flock (or vice versa).

    However, there are cases of apparently healthy birds getting sick after they arrive. I suspect because they become stressed and are more susceptible.

    I like to play it safe. Sure we can't control the wild bird movements, but we can at least try to prevent spreading diseases within our own flocks.
     
  8. Ericasl

    Ericasl Chillin' With My Peeps

    594
    0
    159
    Feb 21, 2008
    The Dalles OR
    This is so cool I love to hear what everyone has to say! I was also worried about messing up the pecking order. I only have hens and you can tell what hen is the boss. So many of you are in Washington and Oregon I lived most of my life in battleground Wa. I miss the evergreen trees!!
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2008
  9. DrakeMaiden

    DrakeMaiden Overrun with Drakes

    Jun 8, 2007
    Kitsap County, WA
    I'm happy to offer the information, whether or not you choose to use it. Too much information usually isn't a bad thing.

    I'm sorry to hear you are missing the evergreens. I thought Idaho had a fair amount, but I guess some spots have more than others? At least you can probably grow nice plump tomatoes in your neck of the woods. [​IMG]
     
  10. skeeter9

    skeeter9 Chillin' With My Peeps

    No doubt you will mess up the pecking order, but that is the way flocks work. The girls will work it out and all will be well in the end. Good luck with your flock!!!

    Lori
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by