Need some advice on introducing new chickens to your flock. Please help!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by OneCrazyCowgirl, Nov 11, 2012.

  1. OneCrazyCowgirl

    OneCrazyCowgirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Well I ordered 19 chicks. When I got them I saw that 1 had died in the box and one died overnight. They were both my bantams and by far the ones I was looking forward to the most. I contacted the hatchery and they said they can send some more, no cost, but not until March. Well my flock will be all grown up and part of a pecking order by then. But I would really like to have those bantams but can't afford building another coop. Yall have any advice on introducing new, younger chicks to an established flock? Please help!
     
  2. tonyrader

    tonyrader New Egg

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    I have done a few flocks now. I always put a wire fence between the old and new, So they can see each other for a week or so.. then put them together.. just keep an eye on them..
     
  3. OneCrazyCowgirl

    OneCrazyCowgirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks for the info. :)
    Any others have help to share?
     
  4. mtnviewfarms

    mtnviewfarms Chillin' With My Peeps

    I needed to integrate an 8 month old cockerel ( Black Australorp ) to my established flock that has been together since I hatched them out 8 months ago and all have lived together in the same large coop with adjoining outdoor covered run.

    I breed, incubate, raise and sell started pullets of my Heritage Breeds ( Plymouth Barred Rocks, Welsummers and Black Australorps ) and my only 'missing link' in the breeding program was a nice quality Australorp cockerel.

    I have a very large dog crate in my covered outdoor run area ( keep it there as a 'time out' for overly bossy hens or Roos or to help with the integration process of a newbie to the flock ).

    All of my other cockerels ( 7 ) get along very well as they were raised together and I was very fearful that this newbie cockerel wouldn't be able to get along with the others.

    I placed him in the large crate with food and water and the flock literally 'swarmed' the crate checking him out - getting on top of the crate - ( I put a large plastic tote cover on top and weighed it down with a big rock so they wouldn't be pooping on the poor guy! )

    This was early afternoon and by the next morning there seemed to be zero interest in him by any flock members so I 'tried' opening the crate door and he came out timidly and as soon as the other roos spotted him I knew it was going to be a bad scene so I rushed in and put him back in his 'safe crate'.

    He stayed in there for two more days and when I opened the door for him he stayed in there a while and no other birds tried to get in or bother him. He then slowly came out and jumped up onto a huge tree limb that I have inside their run area ( I used to have parakeets and I literally have my run area fixed up like a huge bird cage with lots of tree limb roosts, large tree stumps and a tall multi-level wooden thing that I found at a local thrift store - it's like a jungle jim that has boards for them to walk on and they LOVE IT. )

    I could tell he was leary of getting down from his branch much except to get some water so I put some feed pellets on top of the crate below his perch and he usually ate there.

    That's been two weeks ago and he is just now apparently feeling confident enough to remain on the run floor with the other birds. They have now accepted him and all is well - my problem
    now is that the Barred Rock pullets are following him around ( he's a real hunk of bird eye candy that's for sure ) and snuggeling up to him when they roost and the Black Australorp pullets seem to ignore him
    completely!
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2012
  5. NestingHillsSC

    NestingHillsSC Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Throw them in there and get out of the way. I have done this way too much when I first started. And do it every year when the old ones go to the freezer. Always have 3 generations in there.

    First make sure they are old enough to be with the bigger ones. Recommend at least 16 weeks old. To small and the older girls will injure them. They have to be able to defend themselves. Don't put a 7 year old on a pro football field.

    CONTROL YOURSELF!!!! This is the hardest thing to do. You will want to run in there and save them. Wrong!!!! They are CHICKENS. This is there behavior. Something they must do in order to have order in the flock. They are not children there chickens. When people realize this they will have less problems and a very happy flock.

    They most likely will run straight for the hen house and roost to stay out of danger. I will take them out and lock the door so they cant get in for a few hours here and there. When outside they will find a spot to hind and act like chickens. I usually will set water and food around that area. So they can get something. Trust they wont starve or die of thirst. Actually just the opposite. That will make them come out and be chickens.

    Doing this to new comers right now. Chickens are funny. If the new girls would just walk away slowly the others would never chase them. But young chickens act as if there getting killed. They scream and run. That makes all the rest chase them like running from a dog. Im always saying to myself. Just turn and walk away slowly. LOL. But NO!!! There funny.

    I have had some that in a day or so where fine. Had some that took weeks. None the less before you know it they will all be out there scratching around and acting like chickens together.
     

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