Mixing hens

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by morrighan, Dec 9, 2010.

  1. morrighan

    morrighan New Egg

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    Dec 8, 2010
    Hello,

    I am thinking of getting a couple of chickens to keep my Buff Orpington company. I posted yesterday that my other Buff Orpington passed away. I have an opportunity to get either (or both) Barred Rock and Rhode Island Reds. How would these breeds get along with my Buff Orpington?

    The Barred Rocks are currently molting. I can easily heat my coop to keep them warm, as it has been in the teens and twenties in the suburbs of Boston lately. But the guy who has them says to heat the coop is the fastest way to kill a chicken. I am concerned about taking in molting chickens, when they'd be coming from a coop with 25 hens and going to an uninsulated coop of three hens.

    Any thoughts or suggestions are greatly appreciated!
     
  2. scgamecock

    scgamecock Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 18, 2008
    Conway SC
    Should be a problem once they get the pecking order figured out. I have lots of different breeds that live together in harmony.
     
  3. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    The heat is the thing to decide -- no problem to mix breeds, people do it all the time, and it is good that these are all more or less the same size.

    Heating coops is a highly debatable subject -- lots of threads on here recently on the subject. I'm generally against it: "softens them up" which puts them in danger if the power goes out, danger of fire, not necessary in most cases, etc. -- but if I lived up there and had 2 molting birds who were accustomed to the body heat of 23 others, even I would add some heat. I might even do it if they weren't molting, because, again, 25 chickens give off a lot of heat. If he also has a lot of litter and poop on his coop floor, especially on a dirt floor (DLM,) that puts off a lot of heat, too.
     
  4. Barry Natchitoches

    Barry Natchitoches Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 4, 2008
    Tennessee
    Morrigham,


    You aren't anywhere near west Tennessee, north Mississippi or north Alabama, are you?


    Cuz if you are, I know where birds perfect for you are.
     
  5. papeine

    papeine Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 25, 2010
    Hastings
    I added two new girls about 2 weeks ago. Not the smartest thing I have ever done. It's winter in MInnesota, so the chickens don't go outside. My older girls are not exactly nice to the new ones.. The new ones spend their time on the roost, cuz when they come down to eat or drink..they aren't exactly welcome. I do give them food and water on the roost. I think I will only add new birds when the whter is warm and they like being outside...
     
  6. morrighan

    morrighan New Egg

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    Dec 8, 2010
    I am concerned about how they get along when they're in the coop at night. Even though it's cold, my Buff Orpington is fine with walking around outside (free range in the yard) during the day. I just feel so badly for her - she's lonely - she keeps hanging around the back door of my house now that her friend is gone.

    Thank you for the thoughts on the heat. I've read most of the threads debating to heat or not to heat, but I don't think they apply to me with so few chickens. I'll add some heat, and hopefully they'll all get along and cozy up to each other.

    I'm just going to keep a close eye on how they all get along. I don't want to make a sad situation into an awful one. I'm quite attached to my little lady [​IMG]
     
  7. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    I would agree that warmer weather is a better time to introduce new birds, so that they have space to get away from one another if need be. But it sounds like yours will be able to be out and about each day, so maybe that won't be an issue. I love my barred rock, and she does fine with my buff orp. Even though they are molting, if the man you got them from didn't heat, then they're use to that and will survive, despite the molting. I do add a bit of warmth to my coop, so I'm certainly not against that. Just remember that safety is critical if you choose to do so...and if your coop is small, you will have to be extra careful.
     

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