New chicken to flock

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by chickenmamakimberly, Aug 14, 2018.

  1. chickenmamakimberly

    chickenmamakimberly Chirping

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    i have 5 -7 1/2 week old chicks. I want to add another Pullet. Do I need to do this gradually at this age?
     
  2. Chick-N-Fun

    Chick-N-Fun Almy Acres Farm

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    Absolutely! Integration at any age takes time, especially if they are different ages/sizes. How old Is the new pullet? It is always difficult integrating one bird. Can you get a friend for her as well?
     
  3. chickenmamakimberly

    chickenmamakimberly Chirping

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    Well, here is the thing. I have 2 EE mutts one of which appears to be a cockerel and I have 3 Polish/Silkie cross 1 of which is a cockerel. The 2 little Roos are already fighting so I know I will have to give one up. I could technically add 2 more Pullets if that will work better. I’m new to all of this.
     
  4. chickenmamakimberly

    chickenmamakimberly Chirping

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    And they are all the same age.
     
  5. Chick-N-Fun

    Chick-N-Fun Almy Acres Farm

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    If they are all the same age, I would still still do a see but don’t touch method for awhile and then eventually integrate with supervision. If you free range at all that is the best time to integrate. And yes, I would definitely get 2 pullets, not just one! Good luck! Keep us posted!
     
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  6. ellenscoop

    ellenscoop Chirping

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    chickenmamakimberly likes this.
  7. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

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    one bird is a very hard introduction, everyone one knows that is the stranger and will get their pecks in. The more you add at one time the better. If this is your first year with chickens, go ahead and get rid of both roosters and add 3 pullets. An all hen flock is best the first year. Roosters takes some experience.
     
  8. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Free Ranging

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    If you're adding 2 that are approximately the same age, they might be ok being added right in. It really depends on the personality of your other birds, but at this age their pecking order is still not well established like it would be for adults, so they may be more accepting of newcomers. Obviously you'd need to keep an eye on things to make sure no one is getting too aggressive.
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Agrees...still best to have lots of space, multiple feed/water, and 'hiding' places.
    Might be good to have separate enclosure for very first sighting and in case there's trouble.

    Integration Basics:
    It's all about territory and resources(space/food/water).
    Existing birds will almost always attack new ones to defend their resources.
    Understanding chicken behaviors is essential to integrating new birds into your flock.

    Confine new birds within sight but physically segregated from older/existing birds for several weeks, so they can see and get used to each other but not physically interact.

    In adjacent runs, spread scratch grains along the dividing mesh, best if mesh is just big enough for birds to stick their head thru, so they get used to eating together.

    The more space, the better.
    Birds will peck to establish dominance, the pecked bird needs space to get away. As long as there's no copious blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down and beaten unmercilessly, let them work it out. Every time you interfere or remove new birds, they'll have to start the pecking order thing all over again.

    Multiple feed/water stations. Dominance issues are most often carried out over sustenance, more stations lessens the frequency of that issue.

    Places for the new birds to hide 'out of line of sight'(but not a dead end trap) and/or up and away from any bully birds. Roosts, pallets or boards leaned up against walls or up on concrete blocks, old chairs tables, branches, logs, stumps out in the run can really help. Lots of diversion and places to 'hide' instead of bare wide open run.
     

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