Thinking of adding 3 hens to existing flock of 3, have a couple of questions

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by frickenchicken1, Jan 20, 2017.

  1. frickenchicken1

    frickenchicken1 Just Hatched

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    Hi,
    we're thinking of adding 3 hens to our existing flock of 3 because we've really been enjoying keeping chickens and lots of people have been wanting to buy eggs form us that we barely have much left for ourselves. I have a couple of questions. We're not 100% sure that we will purchase these hens as we don't know if we have the right amount of space to accomodate them and we wanted to know your views on this (if it would be enough space for all 6 hens). We have 4 ft by 3ft coop meaning each hen will get 2 sq ft each. will this be enough space, plus the fact the we will be letting them free range out of the coop for 7-8 hours each daily. If this isnt enough space we probably just wont purchase them or will either buy another coop. If we do end up buying them, how do you introduce your flock. We're thinking of just popping the three birds in the roost at night while everyone is calm
    , how has this worked for you?
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    You have a few issues.
    2 sq. ft. per bird is half of the minimum they should have.
    After you bring in birds from another source, you can't just pop them in. They need to be quarantined for as long as possible as far as possible from your birds.
    Best bet would probably be to build another coop across your property from the current one. That way they can be introduced (after quarantine) by letting them free range together.
    It is a great benefit to have 2 housing options. A second (or more) small coop for isolating sick, injured, new, broody or bully birds is very helpful.

    http://agriculture.vic.gov.au/agric...ry/quarantine-advice-for-small-poultry-flocks

    http://www.desu.edu/sites/default/files/u538/QandI_2%20pager.pdfhttp://www.desu.edu/sites/default/files/u538/QandI_2%20pager.pdf
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2017
  3. frickenchicken1

    frickenchicken1 Just Hatched

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    thank you, I think we'll be buying a 2nd coop if we do end up buying them so that we can quarantine them to make sure that they dont spread any sickness to our existing flock. Thanks for the input!
     
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    4 sq. ft. per bird should be a minimum coop space. You know you'll eventually want more birds so plan larger. One can always enlarge an existing building.
     
  5. sarandrew11

    sarandrew11 Just Hatched

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    Do folks recommend having a roost area in the run as well as the coop especially when integrating new hens?
     
  6. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    I'm glad you're enjoying your little flock. They are fun, yes? Here's my suggestion to you: Build a coop that is large enough for 12 birds. That would be a minimum of 48 sq. feet. I suggest that you stay away from the pre-built coops b/c they are rarely designed to actually meet the needs of the birds, or the flock owner. If you are not able to build your own coop, and they are real easy to build... you can look at the option of buying a shed from Lowes or one of their many competitors, then add your own windows, ventilation, perches and nest boxes. Or you can build a cattle panel coop. these are well within the skill set of just about anybody. A huge advantage would be a coop that has no wood floor. This makes deep litter especially successful, and provides infinite advantage in ease of coop management and benefit to bird's health. Then, with the larger coop, you can put all of your birds in that, have room for additions when these birds age out, and keep your small coop for the many needs that will crop up over the years. An other advantage of a CP hoop coop is that if you ever decide you don't want to keep chickens, it will make a wonderful green house, tool storage shed, or what ever other use you can imagine. Best way to integrate new birds is by letting them meet while free ranging, but you still need to house the new birds separately for a bit (IMO), give them a good going over to inspect for parasites, and let the older girls inspect them with a fence between them before turning them all out to free range.

    A roost in the run is a good idea even when not integrating. But, the run needs to be covered so the birds don't use the extra height to fly out! You can give them lots of thrills with a few strategically placed hay bales and logs in the run, and turn that run into a deep litter compost.
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Ditto Dat^^^

    Build a big new coop...the use the little old one for quarantine.
     

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