Two New Chickens that Fly

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by melisajov, Nov 18, 2013.

  1. melisajov

    melisajov Out Of The Brooder

    I have two new chickens that I am introducing to my flock of 5 Red Rhode Islands. My 5 that I have right now don't fly but these two young 9 month old do. I would like to eventually let them free range with my other 5 chickens but the previous owners said they kept flying into other neighbors yards. I don't want this to happen. Do you guys have any suggestions? Plus, how long do it take for the pecking order to be established and how does this work? Right now I only put my new chickens with my old chickens at night to roost and let my 5 older ones free range all day. Suggestions Please????
     
  2. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    You can clip their wings if you don't want them to hop fences. Just one side, it puts them off balance.

    The pecking order really depends on your environment. Do you have roosters? How big is your coop? The RIRs, how old are they?

    Usually older birds are the boss, once the younger ones accept that their will be peace. It will go faster if you have a rooster, as they bring order. I've never had much issue with the pecking order after a day, but some others have taken weeks. I have a very large coop and birds that are used to change (new birds being added very frequently).

    Make sure the new birds are quarantined for a minimum of 4 weeks (unless you are feeling risky).
     
  3. bellschick

    bellschick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How do chickens get these awful sicknesses? Does the meds in baby chick food take care of most of them?
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    First I suggest locking them up for a few days, maybe a week, just so they accept your place as home and don’t go walk-about looking for their old home. It sounds like you are already doing this. It’s possible they will attach to the other hens and come in with them to roost at night, but it’s also possible they will go walk-about or maybe sleep outside, maybe in trees, if you just let them loose before they accept your place as home.

    I agree wing clipping is probably a good idea. It does not totally stop them from getting out but it does make it harder. They can still jump really well and by flapping their wings they can almost walk up a fence if they really want to. It’s mainly about motivation.

    Some people can keep them in a 3’ high fence with absolutely no problem. Some people can’t keep them in with a 6’ high fence. Usually the more area they have to roam the less high the fence needs to be. Sometimes, especially in smaller areas, a chicken gets trapped by a more aggressive chicken and goes vertical to get away. If they are trapped next to a fence they can land on the far side. And some just seem to a have an urge to wander. We have so many different flocks with different situations that there is no easy answer to that. But you can find out how to clip a wing by looking in the Learning Center at the top of this page.

    The pecking order is another thing that can go so many different ways. At 9 months yours are pretty mature so that makes it a lot easier. Each chicken has its own individual personality and together they have a flock dynamic. A lot of times integration goes so well you wonder why you had any concerns. Sometimes it gets pretty messy. With the age of yours and the amount of room I think you have, yours will probably be an easy one. Probably.

    Housing them for a few days or maybe a week where they can see each other but not get at each other can really help them accept each other as members of the same flock. So if your set-up allows that you are way ahead of the game.

    Each chicken has to know its place in the pecking order so the flock can live in peace. What normally happens is that when two chickens that don’t know their social position meet, one usually pecks the other or somehow tries to intimidate the other. Usually one will run away and they have it sorted. There may be repeat performances and some chasing involved but no big deal.

    If one doesn’t run away, it’s a challenge. They will face off, flare neck feathers, and have a scuffle. Usually it takes almost no time for one to decide they are better off running away instead of sticking around. More running away and a bit of chasing. A huge key here is that they have to have enough room to run away, even with a bit of chasing. If they don’t have enough room to run away it can get bloody.

    Occasionally (and really rarely with hens) you have two that are pretty evenly matched. You can get some pretty good fights. Even then, most of the time, it ends well with one finally running away but these are the situations some horror stories about integration come from. In my opinion, a huge majority of the horror stories from integration come from them not having room to run away, but they are living animals. No one can give you a guarantee about anything.

    What I’d expect to happen with yours is that when you let them out to free range together, the new ones sort of form their own flock and stay away from the older hens most of the time. They will intermingle some and eventually become full members of the flock, but may always sort of stick together. You may not even see any skirmishing.

    I’m not even sure you need to do this, the way I understand your situation, but it often helps to have extra feed and watering stations so the new ones don’t have to challenge the older ones to eat and drink. I’d also suggest you make sure they have ample room on the roosts. Don’t crowd them. I integrate younger chickens a lot and generally don’t have problems. But the most vicious I see my older ones toward the young is on the roosts at night when they are settling down to sleep. Some extra room helps the new ones get away from the bullies if they need to.

    Good luck with it, I think you are going to do great with what I understand of your situation.
     
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  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    The medicine in medicated starter is almost certainly Amprolium. You can check on the label to make sure what you are dealing with. Amprolium is not an antibiotic. It interferes with the reproduction of the protozoa that can cause Coccidiosis, thus reducing the chances of them getting sick if they are exposed to that protozoa yet allows them to develop the immunity to that strain of Coccidiosis. Amprolium does not have any effect on anything else. It is not an antibiotic.

    How do chickens get sick? How do humans get sick? Same ways. They are either born with a defect, their body breaks down (think of cancer or kidney failure), or they get sick from viruses or bacteria.

    How do you stop chickens form getting sick? Same way you stop humans from getting sick. An appropriate diet, decent living conditions, and minimize exposure to sick chickens.
     
  6. melisajov

    melisajov Out Of The Brooder

    The 5 older chickens are 2 years old. The new ones are 9 months but one of them is so big my 5 older chickens run away from her. It's quite funny because is is younger. My coops can hold up to ten chickens. They have enough room on the roost. It's funny because the 5 red chickens and one of the younger chickens bunch up together but none of them will get near the one that is bigger of them all. Is there a reason? They even run from her when they are all feeding. I have noticed that the 5 red ones have pecked at the brown one that is new and she sleeps with them. Did they tell her where she belongs? I am new with this chicken things but I am learning. I also, I let my 5 red ones out during the day to free range but I'm afraid that they won't lay because the coop is locked up to keep the other two from free ranging. Tell me what is a better option? I need to make sure they keep laying in their laying beds. Does clipping their wings hurt them? How long after getting the new chickens can I let them free range? I have had them introduced for 2 days now but I'm still worried that they will not come back to there coop?
     
  7. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    A week should do it for free ranging.
     
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Is there any way you can block off a portion of the coop during the day to keep those two new ones contained? Or even a separate building or pen for the two to stay in during the day? That way the hens can keep laying in their nests and you can let them out after the others lay.

    That’s a hard one because no one can give you any guarantees. If I were in your situation and could not house them elsewhere I’d probably let them go and see what happened. You don’t want the hens to get in the habit of laying somewhere else. It’s a gamble, but so is life in general. Since they are sleeping together, at least the smaller one, they’ll probably come back.

    Clipping the wings does not hurt them if you do it the way that article in the Learning Center tells you. If they have molted and are growing in new feathers they may have blood in the quill portion, but you should be able to see the red before you cut.

    With your stories on that big one, are you sure that’s not a rooster?
     
  9. melisajov

    melisajov Out Of The Brooder

    [​IMG]
    This is what our bigger of the two new ones look like. I think she is a Dominique Chicken. I don't see any signs of it being a rooster.
     
  10. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    No that's not a rooster. With you mentioning it being that much bigger, well sometimes I think too much.
     

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