Should I wait to add hens to my flock until everyone is laying?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by franklinchickens, Sep 9, 2010.

  1. franklinchickens

    franklinchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 19, 2010
    Franklin, TN
    We currently have 4 hens all about 20-21 weeks old. They have JUST started laying (one still isn't). They are a lovely group, very friendly and get along well with one another. My daughter, whose chickens these are, really really wants to get what she calls a 'funky feather' chicken (a Silkie or Cochin or something like that). I'm concerned about 2 things:
    1. Introducing a new hen or two at the time when the hens are just starting to lay.
    2. Messing up our nice little group - should I take the risk?
    So at what age is a good age? I figure if we get a new one or two, we'd get ones that were close in age & size. Should I wait?
    We do have room for up to 8 if we wanted them although if they all keep using just 1 nesting box, who knows! [​IMG]
  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    The nest box will be the least of your problems. It's the problem of a happy, established group accepting newcomers. Sometimes it happens pretty smoothly but more often not. You are correct it is best if they are about the same size (size is more important than age for this.)

    I have 3 that are full size, about 20 weeks, who were raised by one of my hens in the coop from day one, right along with the rest of the group. I tried at first to keep mama and babies in a wired off room within the coop but they found ways to get out and hang with the others, so I just propped the door open after a few days. (Everyone ate the grower feed but only the hens could reach the layer feed.) These three still keep their distance from the rest, hang together, and roost separate from the group, not on the roosts, but another board in another part of the coop. The groups don't fight but they are certainly two different groups.

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