New to introducing chickens

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by christinas28, Aug 5, 2016.

  1. christinas28

    christinas28 New Egg

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    Aug 5, 2016
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    Hello! I just got two new chickens, they are 4 months old. I have an older chicken who is almost two and wondering how should go about introducing them. My older hen is a Rhode island brown and I just picked up a new Hampshire and my other is a white hen, I'm at a loss of the breed right now but it will come to me. Any suggestions would be great! I let them see each other for a little bit but my older hen did not seem to like the white one. She did have a sister same breed that just passed.
     
  2. BuffOrpington88

    BuffOrpington88 Non-Stop

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    Hi and [​IMG]

    You can integrate them using the "see but don't touch method". Here is a great article on that. This method is useful because it is a safe, gradual way to get chickens used to each other.

    Good luck and thanks for joining us! [​IMG]
     
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  3. christinas28

    christinas28 New Egg

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    Aug 5, 2016
    Augusta Wisconsin
    Thank you for the link! I'm nervous now though I let my older one be by the new chicks without quarantine[​IMG] hopefully things are okay my older hen decided to go into the old coop so I just kept the new chickens in our new coop. Which is more secure, my older hen is our free range and I'm not worried about her taking off. It doesn't say how long to quarantine in the article. I did change and take the new chicken coop out though. Anything else I should do for quarantine?
     
  4. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    Since they've already been together, quarantine is a moot point. And unless you can do a true quarantine, it really doesn't do any good. Here is an article on proper quarantine:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/...often-underestimated-part-of-raising-chickens

    I rarely bring in new chickens, but when I have done so, I have not done a proper quarantine. So far, no problems, but I know I'm taking a risk.

    The "look but don't touch" method can help alleviate some of the pecking order squabbles, but there may still be some once the chickens are together. Multiple feeding and watering stations can be helpful, as can hiding places for the youngsters. Lean some plywood or a pallet against the coop wall so a youngster can dash behind it. You know, out of sight, out of mind. It would help if they can free range together, giving them more space to get away if they need to. Do a search on integration. There are lots of threads on it.
     
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  5. christinas28

    christinas28 New Egg

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    Aug 5, 2016
    Augusta Wisconsin
    I think I really botched this quarantine procedure, I did not change clothes, shoes, or washed my hands in between birds. The new chicks are also in the main coop for the night because my older hen wanted to go into her original coop I still have up. So I'm running at risk now I think. I will still keep them apart for a few days let these new hens get comfortable and try the see but don't touch method. Thanks for the advice, I really should have done more research before grabbing up some more! The gal who sold me the hens though had them from chicks from a hatchery, and has been hatching for a few years. She said she had only three out of the 66 hatched that died from the stress of moving. Will keep everyone posted how this goes!
     
  6. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    Don't beat yourself up. Many experienced chicken keepers choose not to quarantine. Have you checked the new ones for mites and lice? Do they look healthy - bright eyes, nice shiny feathers? Any apparent respiratory problems? If they look good and healthy and don't have parasites, I wouldn't lose any sleep over it. I know, there are some things that don't show up right away, but I still wouldn't worry about it. Your risk is minimal. If I understand correctly you're integrating two new ones with one old one? It's not like you're risking hundreds of birds. (I realize it's more of an emotional toll than a financial one when your flock is small.) Take a deep breath, and tell yourself, "It's going to be OK. [​IMG]
     
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  7. christinas28

    christinas28 New Egg

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    Aug 5, 2016
    Augusta Wisconsin
    Yes, I have one older hen and just picked up two new ones. I did not see any lice or mites and they have overall seemed healthy. Very soft shiny feathers and nice sized birds. I think my one is still mourning her buddy though, seemed like she went searching for her after the new hens came in. I don't feel I have too much to worry about but I will still keep a closer eye now after all the research I have done and been given. I know now for the future too. Thanks for the support bobbi-j it's appreciated!
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Did you part the feathers down to the skin around vent and head/neck areas and look under wings?
    Google images for lice/mites and their eggs before examining so you know what to look for.

    It'll probably be fine, just be patient and observant.
    Old hen is nervous at intruders and looking for her old flock mate,
    but she'll adjust and hopefully will soon welcome the new company.
     
  9. christinas28

    christinas28 New Egg

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    Aug 5, 2016
    Augusta Wisconsin

    I will be examining them here shortly more thorough, I did look under the wings and behind the neck since that's where I saw them on my oldest when first got them. I'm heading out there again soon, just gave my oldest some of my time this morning. [​IMG] Thank you for your support!
     
  10. christinas28

    christinas28 New Egg

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    Aug 5, 2016
    Augusta Wisconsin
    Update - my two new hens are a new Hampshire and a white Wyandotte[​IMG]
     

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