Very new at this- combining chickens from different flocks

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Gaia Kat, Jun 15, 2017.

  1. Gaia Kat

    Gaia Kat In the Brooder

    Jun 8, 2017
    Hi, just a quick question- I have 5 chickens that were raised together. My neighbor has too many chickens and wants to give me some of his. can I put them all together since their they're the same age, or do I need to separate and introduce them like I did with my horses?
    AngelChic likes this.
  2. PD-Riverman

    PD-Riverman Crowing

    Jan 14, 2012
    Conway SC
    According to their age----If adults or close---separate/introduce them that way.
    AngelChic and Gaia Kat like this.

    IZZYBELLA Songster

    Jan 11, 2013
    Agree with above. If they are an established flock you should introduce them slowly by letting them see each other for several days before being able to interact. Then I do some supervised free ranging. The last step is I introduce them at night when everyone is roosted and monitor closely in the morning.

    One thing to consider is making sure that the birds you are bringing in are not sick. Many people quarantine any new birds for up to 1 month before risking introducing disease into their flock. (I have never introduced anything other than chicks I have raised, so I don't have experience with this.)
  4. Gaia Kat

    Gaia Kat In the Brooder

    Jun 8, 2017
    thank you both, that makes sense. Each of my rescue horses were quarantined for a month, then introduced over a fence. Since I am very new at this chicken thing, I think I will wait. You may have averted a disaster!
    IZZYBELLA, AngelChic and PD-Riverman like this.
  5. Bluechick2u

    Bluechick2u Songster

    Jan 12, 2016
    Prineville, OR
    Yes, separate and introduce, its best if you can place them temporarily near your existing chickens so they get used to eachother, chickens are very territorial. After at least a week, try sticking the new chickens in the coop at night. They will scuffle for pecking order, each time a new chicken joins, the pecking order reshuffles. If you have the option of introducing them in a separate pen from the one your hens are currently in, that helps because its new territory and existing hens won't need to defend their territory from intruders.
    Gaia Kat and AngelChic like this.
  6. ChocolateMouse

    ChocolateMouse Crowing

    Jul 29, 2013
    Cleveland OH
    Izzybella hit the nail on the head. Quarantine for a month, introduction through a fence for a week, then put them in the coop with the other hens at night.
    Gaia Kat and AngelChic like this.
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    You're probably familiar with this but:

    It's all about territory and resources(space/food/water).
    Existing birds will almost always attack new ones to defend their resources.
    Understanding chicken behaviors is essential to integrating new birds into your flock.

    Confine new birds within sight but physically segregated from older/existing birds for several weeks, so they can see and get used to each other but not physically interact.

    In adjacent runs, spread scratch grains along the dividing mesh, best if mesh is just big enough for birds to stick their head thru, so they get used to eating together.

    The more space, the better. Birds will peck to establish dominance, the pecked bird needs space to get away. As long as there's no copious blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down and beaten unmercilessly, let them work it out. Every time you interfere or remove new birds, they'll have to start the pecking order thing all over again.

    Multiple feed/water stations. Dominance issues are most often carried out over sustenance, more stations lessens the frequency of that issue.

    Places for the new birds to hide 'out of line of sight'(but not a dead end trap) and/or up and away from any bully birds. Roosts, pallets or boards leaned up against walls or up on concrete blocks, old chairs tables, branches, logs, stumps out in the run can really help. Lots of diversion and places to 'hide' instead of bare wide open run.

    Read up on integration..... BYC advanced search>titles only>integration
    This is good place to start reading, tho some info is outdated IMO:

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: