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#133 - 08/04/02 06:30 AM Introducing new birds to your flock

Hi Everyone, For the first time, I just bought 2 older birds (2 - 3 months old). I usually buy chicks, but I wanted 2 breeders for next year...and boy are they nice looking cockerels so far. My question is, when do you put them in with the flock? I have them in a rabbit cage in the basement, far away from my other birds. I put them on Teramycin, clean shavings for bedding, and grower pellets. I sure dont want to introduce disease to my long should I keep everyone seperated? and what should I look for in the new birds that would tell me that they are ready to go in with my flock. I've had them for 2 days now, and they appear to be healthy. I'm just nervous...dont want to hurt my flock! I've read in other posts about what can happen. Thanks in advance for your advice.


#134 - 08/04/02 08:05 AM Re: Introducing new birds to your flock
Bill Ludwig Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 07/17/02
Posts: 2582
Loc: Ohio
I'm just passing on what others have told me. That is two weeks is a good time frame to see if anything happens. Then keep a close eye on things when you put them together because its going to change the pecking order. Do you have any other roo's now?


#135 - 08/04/02 09:00 AM Re: Introducing new birds to your flock

Yes, I have 2 New Hampshire Red roosters in there now, I plan on keeping the rabbit cage with the new guys in it in the coop for a while so that everyone gets used to eachother. After a week or so, I plan to let out the new guys and see what happens. I figure a week or so should be good, but right now....I'm mostly worried about spreading disease. My flock is very clean and I hope to keep it that way. What sort of things should I watch for during the 2 week quarentine period?

#136 - 08/04/02 04:54 PM Re: Introducing new birds to your flock
CJR Offline
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8501
Loc: Montana
NH Reds, If you already have two mature roosters in the flock and plan to add two more cockerels--in my opinion, you are asking for bloody fighting, perhaps even between the two big boys you already have! Few roosters take kindly to competition.

You would notice anything about you new birds that is "different" from your present birds, sneezing, eyes not bright, diarhea, droopy, poor appetite--or drinking excessive amounts of water-- and do examine them carefully for mites or lice. You may want to keep these boys separate until you remove the older ones before your next breeding season----or maybe you will be lucky and have congenial newcomers well received. But don't count on it!

And as for introducing them through wire--or a pen as you plan. It is my opinion that most birds just wait until you release them--not getting acquainted, but are planning attack, when they can finally get to them! Sometimes true of hens or roosters. So I just rarely add any new birds to a settled pen. I exchange roosters to change breeding pens, not hens. Other people have no trouble--sometimes it is just the mix of birds you have. I do have a couple of hens that seem to get along anywhere, but not cocks. Good luck and be prepared! CJR

#137 - 08/05/02 03:10 AM Re: Introducing new birds to your flock
Big Boy Offline
Ruler of the Roost

Registered: 07/17/02
Posts: 845
Loc: Kansas
I agree with CJR. It is better to replace the older birds with the younger cockerels in one fell swoop. If you aren't going to breed from the older ones then sell them, give them away, or stew them because they will just be frustrated. If you are planning on using them again as breeders then place them in a secure coop with aminumum of 8-9 square feet per bird and each bird has its own pen. Introduce the new birds at night.Good Luck.

#138 - 08/08/02 02:24 PM Re: Introducing new birds to your flock
Aram Seattle Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 547
Loc: Washington
When it came to introducing new roosters to my flock, my RIR Roosty was the best guy. He just kinda looked at them, made that dinasour sounding WOAH sound and then went minding his own business. Lo and behold, once the Ameraucana roosters were released from their cage, their hackle feathers went up and they went for him. He was so surprised, he did not know how they would even consider attacking him. So he did the WWF maneuver. Flew up into the roost and then jumped down on top of the new rooster like a hawk. After couple more sparrings, the new guy decided that he was a bit out of his league. He ducked his head and ran to the darkest corner. The next rooster did not even consider aproaching my Roosty.

I, myself, was very impressed with a nonvindictive nature of my rooster. He put them back where they belong and then went his way. Never picked a fight, but never backed down. Even now, he just knocks off his sons, when they try to mount hens and that's where it ends. What a true American rooster from Rhode Island. smile


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