We have 3 Domenique hens,my wife wants to add Road Island Reds to the mix. Will this work?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Domanique Fan, Dec 22, 2014.

  1. Domanique Fan

    Domanique Fan In the Brooder

    May 24, 2014
    North West Georgia
    As the title explains, we have 3 hens right now. In spring we want to add more birds. Mainly Dominique but as I said my wife wants to add Road Island Reds. I would like to add some Delaware. My concern is since Dominique hens are so docile they will be picked on or ostracized by the new comers. Also what is the best way to introduce new chickens to our micro flock?
    Can we slip chicks under a broody hen? Like you do hatching eggs? Will a hen raise chicks that are not her breed?
    Also is a separate coop for different breeds or new comers in general a good idea or a bad one?

    I hope this question is placed in the right forum. If not please let me know.
  2. ShockValue

    ShockValue Songster

    Jan 10, 2010
    West Sound, Washington
    Chickens are pretty oblivious to breed. Chickens are chickens in their book. Personality is the issue, but if you slip babies under a broody hen (my friend did this with success) they will come pre-integrated and should do just fine.

    You can't always guess specific personalities, but there's no reason RiR, Doms and Dels can't get along just fine.
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Sometimes you can slip chicks under a broody hen, sometimes not...first make darn sure you have a broody and be ready to brood the chicks in a brooder if the hen rejects them.

    Here's some notes I've taken on integration that I found to be very helpful.
    See if any of them, or the links provided, might offer some tips that will assist you in your situation:

    Integration of new chickens to flock.

    Consider medical quarantine:
    BYC Medical Quarantine Article
    Poultry Biosecurity
    BYC 'medical quarantine' search

    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. Integrating new birds of equal size works best.

    For smaller chicks I used a large wire dog crate right in the coop for the smallers. I removed the crate door and put up a piece of wire fencing over the opening and bent up one corner just enough for the smallers to fit thru but the biggers could not. Feed and water inside the crate for the smallers. Make sure the smallers know how to get in and out of the crate opening before exposing them to the olders. this worked out great for me, by the time the crate was too small for the them to roost in there(about 3 weeks), they had pretty much integrated themselves to the olders.

    If you have too many smallers to fit in a crate you can partition off part of the coop with a wire wall and make the same openings for smallers escape.

    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 blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down, 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 and/or up and away from any bully birds.

    Read up on integration..... BYC advanced search>titles only>integration
    This is good place to start reading:
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  4. matt44644

    matt44644 Songster

    Sep 14, 2014
    Sanilac County,Michigan
    I have 5 DOM and 5 RIR, they all get along fine.The DOMs in my flock tend to be a little bossy,but they all were together since the beginning.
  5. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

    Nov 7, 2012
    My experience with RIR is that they are bullies, while Doms tend to be much more docile. Also, hatchery doms tend to be a bit on the small side. Obviously, other folks have had good experiences with these 2 breeds together. One thing that will help immensely is if you have lots of room for your flock, both in and out of the coop. The more room they have, the less likely you are to see bullying. I've found that EE tend to match Doms in temperament. I love both of these breeds. One thing in your favor is that the Doms are now the queens of the flock. If you add younger birds, that should help the Doms to assert themselves.
  6. Peeps61

    Peeps61 Songster

    Apr 19, 2014
    NW Florida
    I agree with Lazy Gardener, but I will say that my older RIR hen gets along great with all the other birds. The two other older birds are Buff Orphingtons, and there is no bullying there. She sometimes will pick at the younger RIR hen I added, but not much. The younger RIR was raised with the cochins, EE and Brahmas, so she's pretty congenial to all of them. I think it depends on the birds and the ages when you start the integration. Good luck! Doms sound like neat birds, and I may try some in the spring when chick season rolls around.
  7. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Crossing the Road

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    If you can get some heritage RIR--the old lines that are deep mahogany brown--they will be very docile and wonderful birds. There is a heritage RIR thread, and many on there are trying to preserve them from almost extinction. Hatchery and feed storer RIR are only mixed RIR, and can be aggressive. The old line RIR are great birds, but they aren't production reds like most of the hatchery RIR--they lay 3 or so eggs a week, some more. Freds Hens and several others may ship hatching eggs if you contact them early. I have some I hatched from eggs from one of the nice people on this thread: https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/407294/the-heritage-rhode-island-red-site/8570

    I would start by reading the thread from the end and working backward, looking at some of the pictures. The late Robert Blosl started this thread to preserve these wonderful birds. Contact one of the people willing to ship some eggs in early spring. Many have waiting lists for these rare birds. Mine were from Ron Fogel, and I am very impressed with them.
  8. Domanique Fan

    Domanique Fan In the Brooder

    May 24, 2014
    North West Georgia
    Thanks for all the advice, it has definitely set my mind at ease. Now we just have to wait come spring to see if any off our hens go broody. Or if we have to introduce two flocks. I am pretty psyched at the prospects.

    Thanks for the info Eggcessive, I was not aware of different types of Road Island reds.

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