Simplest way to increase flock?

flyin-lowe

Songster
Jan 24, 2016
538
334
149
Indiana
I know everyone recommends some type of quarantine. I lost two of my 9 hens today. One was found dead in the run. I looked her over real good and saw no signs of injuries or any idea as to what happened. I have one of my RIR missing as well and found a pile of feathers in my yard where they were free ranging at the time. Not sure what got her but it is weird that one appears to have been attacked and another was found dead, all within an hour of me letting them out as I do most evenings.

Anyway I would like to buy maybe four or more hens to add to my flock. I currently only have one coop with run so don't know what the best options are to quarantine and integrate some new ones into my current flock which is now down to 7?

Thanks
 

flyin-lowe

Songster
Jan 24, 2016
538
334
149
Indiana
I saw a video online that said the more you add to a flock the better they will integrate. If I added 4 to a flock of 7 that would be better then adding 1 to a flock of 7. I still don't want to just throw 4 hens into my current flock. 2-4 weeks seems to be the best observation period. I have a couple questions. I am obviously not a vet so unless there is an obvious issue I wouldn't likely notice something minor in a new hen. If one gets hens from a small local person who doesn't have thousands of hens to watch over. I just don't know what kind of things would surface in a 15-30 day quarantine that an honest person wouldn't notice. I can see if I am getting them from some place that has 10 thousand hens, but if a neighborhood farmer has some extras to sell I am not sure what I would be looking for that he wouldn't have already noticed?
 

Poultrybreeder

Crowing
Apr 21, 2017
1,498
1,602
262
New Mexico
If you get them from a farmer, sicknesses are more likely to be noticed before they are purchased. I would not trust hens with young chicks, unless they have been separated for a while. Most of my chicks are attacked by my 50 hens when they don't have a momma
 

flyin-lowe

Songster
Jan 24, 2016
538
334
149
Indiana
Someone else said its best to put birds of same basic size or similar age together, that it is not a good idea to integrate chicks into an existing flock. Based on that I was planning to get something in the 3-6 month old range, at least basically full size. Is that not the best idea?
 

flyin-lowe

Songster
Jan 24, 2016
538
334
149
Indiana
So lets say I bought 4 or 5 hens from a small breeder/farmer that are around 6 months old. How important is a quarantine in this situation. I am not against it I am just curious what kind of things I could see that would show up in a couple weeks that wouldn't have already been noticed by the breeder/farmer. Again this is based on me getting them from someone I can talk to and visit. Not just grabbing them out of a barn that has 3000 hens in it. There is a couple guys near me that buy and keep a few hundred chicks at a time and then sell them as they get to laying age.
 

DesertBird

Songster
Jul 26, 2017
474
462
156
Arizona
I saw a video online that said the more you add to a flock the better they will integrate. If I added 4 to a flock of 7 that would be better then adding 1 to a flock of 7. I still don't want to just throw 4 hens into my current flock. 2-4 weeks seems to be the best observation period. I have a couple questions. I am obviously not a vet so unless there is an obvious issue I wouldn't likely notice something minor in a new hen. If one gets hens from a small local person who doesn't have thousands of hens to watch over. I just don't know what kind of things would surface in a 15-30 day quarantine that an honest person wouldn't notice. I can see if I am getting them from some place that has 10 thousand hens, but if a neighborhood farmer has some extras to sell I am not sure what I would be looking for that he wouldn't have already noticed?
Someone even down the street from you doesn't have the exact same air, plants, etc. that you do. Bringing anything into a new environment could cause it to become sick because it's immune system hasn't been built up in your yard. It's like going to a new country - you have to have different vaccinations because you're used to the plants and air in the US, but not in England. I'm sure most places wouldn't give you a sick bird, if they knew it was sick, but it could become sick from the stress of the move or something in the environment, and it'd be awful to have your entire flock get it.
 
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