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new chicks to a flock of one

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Waterlily, Mar 22, 2015.

  1. Waterlily

    Waterlily Hatching

    Mar 22, 2015
    I had 4 chickens and all were killed but one. Will it be relatively easy to introduce one or two back with her? I have read the different ways to do so and have a good idea of how to do this. I just wanted to find out if it is easier to introduce a new girl to just one instead of a flock. Also, does anyone have an opinion on number of chickens in a flock? Is 3 just as easy as 4? When I had 4 hens they often paired up in 2s when they free ranged. Is 3 an odd number that is likely to get one of them picked on more? Any thoughts are appreciated!
  2. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing 8 Years

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    It will depend on what you can get. You might get some point of lay hens, which would be a bit younger than your current hen, right? If so, I would get three birds that know each other. Because they are younger, and probably be a wee bit smaller than your current bird, they will kind of equal out.

    One older bird +2, home turf advantage, +1 = -3 younger, smaller birds.

    OR if you can get older birds, then I would get 2 head. 3 might give an advantage to the new birds, plus you whole flock is now older birds. It is better to have multiple ages in a flock, so that you are never completely starting over, you just add a fee, lose a few over the years.

    Take a good look at your run, if the only place for your birds to stand is on the ground, you will have more trouble. Sticking in some roosting poles in the corner, putting a pallet up on blocks, can really add square footage to your set up, give space where birds get away from each other and out of sight.

    Also, many will recommend quarantining, and while I am not in favor of getting sick birds, with just one hen at stake, I would not worry about it. Take a good look at the birds you are getting, check them over for lice or mites, look at there nose and eyes, and most likely they will be fine. DO NOT buy from an auction or a swap, those you really NEED to quarantine.

    With just one bird, getting the flock going again is the most important.

    Mrs K
  3. Waterlily

    Waterlily Hatching

    Mar 22, 2015
    Those are some good things to think about. My birds stay in a coup/run while I work but as soon as I get home I let them out. Ideally, I would like to get chicks since it is that time of year, and let them get some size before introducing them to my one hen. But I like the idea of different ages. So I could get one chick and maybe find another bird a little older and try to get them together at the same time. Hmmm.
  4. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Songster

    Dec 15, 2011
    SE Pa.
    Getting one chick and an maybe an older started bird won't work out nearly as well as getting two or three the same age. The chick will have to grow up and get some size before she is put in with the older two make for two periods of introductions. And the chick will face two birds when it is introduced, and those are the hardest introductions. When talking about age for production purposes you age talking about different ages of a year or so in a back yard flock.
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2015
    1 person likes this.
  5. Waterlily

    Waterlily Hatching

    Mar 22, 2015
    Thanks for those suggestions!

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