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#8136 - 01/19/05 12:38 PM How to add new birds to established flock?
Anonymous
Unregistered


hello I am a dairy farmer in addison vermont I have a Question a bout How do you add new hens to a flock I have 18 barred rocks 18 RIRs 6black sex links and a couple gold hallcross any way last fall i was gien 4 white pullets put them in the coop and the other hens killed them
I would like to add more chickens but how do you do it? tanh you for any help Ray

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#8137 - 01/19/05 01:58 PM Re: How to add new birds to established flock?
Moderator2 Offline
Administrator
Flock Leader

Registered: 09/29/04
Posts: 330
Loc: Eastern USA
Click on the search at top right. Enter adding new chickens in search feild. Choose search all open forums . This should get you started.
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M2

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#8138 - 01/19/05 06:23 PM Re: How to add new birds to established flock?
Diana Jean Offline
Chicken

Registered: 10/15/04
Posts: 115
Loc: California
Hi rbodet3,
When we add new chickens to those who have all grown up together we put them in a cage inside the coop for anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks until the "coop group" gets used to the new chickens. The new chickens get fed and watered inside their cage until you are ready to let them out. My own feeling would be that with your group you would want to keep the new guys in their cage for maybe a month! Hopefully not, but I think that's what I would do. Anyway, good luck to you! Hope all goes well next time!

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#8139 - 01/23/05 02:37 PM Re: How to add new birds to established flock?
Sunni Ten Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 341
Loc: Colorado
I do what DJ said and it works great. I've had very little problems. My new chicks stay in the house in a big box for about the first month. Then they are moved outside to a little nursery area of the coop. The big hens see them and get used to them. I keep them separated but near each other for about a month, while the chicks get bigger. Then for periods of time during the day, I let them intermingle, but supervised by me or someone in the family. (Such as when we're out doing yard work and such.) I do this for a few weeks. After that, they are totally living together. The worst I've had would be a dominant hen pulling a few feathers out of a little one, making her squawk, but no major harm done, especially as the little one is no longer that little. It also helps to have a lot of room. My hens have a huge yard and are never confined to a small area where they can't run.
Years ago I worried about intermingling flocks, as I've heard horror stories about how it doesn't work. But if you do it the way DJ above and I do it, it should work out fine.

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#8140 - 01/24/05 06:11 AM Re: How to add new birds to established flock?
Anonymous
Unregistered


I introduced a couple of Welsomer pullets to my "flock" of 4 hybrids and they got badly bullied. I had to quickly build another run and house for them which I did as an extension of the first so that they could see each other and get used to each other. Once I identified the 2 bullies (also my best layers) I swapped them round and put them in the new house with the new girls together with my gentler 2.
I can only have them all ranging together when I am there because of predators.
It's been 3 months now and things are only slightly improving.
Hopefully it'll get OK enough between them for me to put them all in together and give the runs alternate rest.

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#8141 - 01/24/05 09:25 AM Re: How to add new birds to established flock?
CJR Offline
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8489
Loc: Montana
Dolly, I DON'T. Results are not kind to the birds, as you have learned. When I pen new birds along side of others, they just plan their attack when they finally MIGHT get together, no matter how long they have been alongside. You can add a new rooster to a flock of hens (if you remove the old one), but hens and additional males will usually (rare cases like written above are not the norm) result in fighting, and if that stops, some birds are never comfortable or "happy" in the flock--they live on the edge all the time.

On the other hand, some breeds are more laid back and will accept newcomers or young birds raised close to the flock--but it is not the usual way of chickens. Since you know the temperament of YOUR birds, you are forewarned--I assure you, it will never happen to my birds!

If you have many acres and the birds are not confined, they will make it--but may be expected to tangle when they meet! Good luck CJR

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#8142 - 01/26/05 10:17 AM Re: How to add new birds to established flock?
Anonymous
Unregistered


CJR
Oh dear, now you've got me worried. eek I was told by someone who had tried it that it worked. Also it's much the same as DJ suggested only not caged within the run. Anyway I'll see what they're like tomorrow but they seemed OK when I put them all away together today. Lots of toys and things to pick at. . Actually when I said "badly bullied" in my first post it was more noisy chasing and establishing who's boss than picking. Also the Welsomers are pretty big. Anyway fingers crossed.
Dolly

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#8143 - 01/26/05 12:14 PM Re: How to add new birds to established flock?
CJR Offline
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8489
Loc: Montana
Dolly, It is okay to worry. All chickens are individuals, but also can be expected to act with a flock mentality. I would never allow my birds to suffer harassment by others. Only once in a while, I will have a bird that is accepted in a new pen of others. Sometime hens that have been out of a pen setting, will not be accepted back by a sister or other hen she has been with for a year or more. That is just the way hens are! It is just up to you, how much is "too much". You know, others put new birds together all the time. "They're just chickens". Well, mine are not named, not cuddled or held on my lap, but I want them to produce well and like "contented cows", they do better (and LIVE)when there is no fighting!! CJR

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#8144 - 02/11/05 12:26 AM Re: How to add new birds to established flock?
Anonymous
Unregistered


Glad to report that all my girls are now happily living together so Sunni Ten and DJ's suggestions worked for me too.
laugh
Dolly

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#8145 - 02/11/05 08:28 AM Re: How to add new birds to established flock?
CJR Offline
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8489
Loc: Montana
So you see, it is not predicatable--you go from killing the newcomers, to peaceful flocks. My birds are too valuable to risk. (and yes, I have on a very few occasions been able to put birds together that did not want to be there--under very watchful supervision!) For peace, tranquility and safety, I just don't add new birds to an established pen! To each, his own. CJR

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