Wishing to add Swedish Flower but afriad to introduce them to my flock!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Hen-nah, Mar 11, 2015.

  1. Hen-nah

    Hen-nah Out Of The Brooder

    25
    0
    29
    Mar 7, 2015
    Olivehurst, California
    I acquired a very nice coop (gift from my sweetheart) and have 3 red star hens and 1 wyanodotte hen (and 2 leghorn hens, and a American Bresse pair I will be rehoming this weekend...a friend wanted chickens and he has a few cows he is slaughtering so I traded! Score on grass fed!!!!!). I am in the market for 2 more hens and adore the Swedish flower hens. I read that Red Stars are not the nicest welcoming committee...and may have to wait for another coop then free range before getting them all together. Any other advice? I only have the one coop with run (8 chicken), and can be patient...but my boyfriend is eager for eggs and chickens now that I got him started (you know how that goes!), and it would be nice to show him the advice of others :).

    Thank you so much in advance!

    Amy
     
  2. MamaRudey

    MamaRudey Chillin' With My Peeps

    I found our Red Stars to be as friendly as the others.
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    36,612
    10,293
    686
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Any existing chickens are not going to appreciate a newcomer....territoriality must be defended rigorously!!
    Breed doesn't matter so much as individual personality, you never know how a live animal might behave.

    Read up on integration:
    Adjacent isolation, lots of space, multiple feed/water stations and places to hide get away from bullies can really help.


    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 at the bottom, might offer some tips that will assist you in your situation:

    Integration of new chickens into 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:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/adding-to-your-flock
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by