Would this work?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by new2chickens2011, Jan 24, 2012.

  1. new2chickens2011

    new2chickens2011 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 11, 2011
    Hi all,
    So, here's my situation. I have four hens, (Barred rock, Australorp, B. Orpington, and a New Hampshire), who are six months old. I have room for one, just one more chicken in the coop, but that's it, and I REALLY want blue/green/whatever color eggs--I want an EE. So in the spring I'll be raising three chicks for a friend. Can I get one EE for myself, and raise it with the other chicks so it won't be lonely, and then keepher by herself after I give away the other chicks until she is old enough/big enough to go in with the other girls? When would that be? Would my other hens accept just one newbie to the coop? How do I introduce them?
    Thanks all, and sorry if it's a dumb question.
  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Ive never done this, but I've read about it here many times. People add adults (old enough to be about the same size) to their flocks all the time. The pecking order will be rearranged when you do. Most likely the new one will get some harrassment. Hopefully this will not involve blood. There is also the issue of quarantine.

    It's a good idea to have them separated by fence (lightweight chicken wire is fine) for some time, most say about a month, so they can see and hear each other but can't attack. This seems to ease the integration some. On actual meeting day, I read mostly about two approaches. One is to sneak the newbie onto the roost with the others just after dark. Hopefully by morning the others will think she has been there all along. The other is to do it during the day in an area like a back yard where the new one has places to hide, and distract everyone with treats.

    I have also read posts by people with many years experience who say they do this routinely and really don't ever see serious problems. You will see pecking, but as long as blood is not drawn, you can let them work it out.

    One member wrote up a detailed page about integration; here is a link:


    Good luck, and enjoy!

    By the way, some EE's will lay a brown egg. I had 3, and got one blue and two brown from them. It's not really predictable.
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2012
  3. new2chickens2011

    new2chickens2011 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 11, 2011
    Thank you!!
  4. rittert3

    rittert3 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 1, 2009
    Ks (Manhattan area)
    If the new chick is raised by itself on you property the will be plenty of time for the quarentine issue I'd just put her in a pen within veiw of the other girls until they seem to not pay attention to each other then you can put her in.

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