adding new chickens to the flock? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 04-02-2011, 06:33 AM - Thread Starter
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anyone done this?  how?  i thought it was a no-no, but curious if it's possible.  it'd be nice to have 6 or 7 more hens, i think.  is it only appropriate to add the same variety or is different better?


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#2 of 8 Old 04-02-2011, 10:21 AM
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Sure we did it numerous times and had a variety of breeds and never had a problem but our chickens had a very large fenced area with a large building we used as a coop and a pond and shared the space with my ducks and geese and even my pigs, although the pigs couldn't get in the coop.

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#3 of 8 Old 04-02-2011, 11:16 PM
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Are you wanting to add hens or chicks? I've had chickens for about 18 years. I randomly add chicks when their heads have feathered out. First I put them in a cage in the coop for a few days for everyone to get to know each other. Then I just let them go. This has always been fine. Except the last time I tried to do it. I have one rhode island red that was just vicious to the new chicks. Fortunately they were a bit older so could get away from her. I ended up having to fence them in a small area of the coop for a really long time (a month or so.) She eventually got used to them and they are all together, though one of the new "chicks" (now a year and a half or so) is missing many feathers. I've never had that happen before.


I have a broody hen who has chicks right now. I keep them completely safe from the old red. They're actually in an enclosed rabbit hutch in the coop. I'm not sure when I'll be able to put them with the flock. Previously I tried to give the broody hen chicks and the red killed them. Thing is, she's really friendly with me and our kids.


We introduced rabbits into the coop a number of years ago. We put the rabbits in the hutch in the coop for several days. However, when we let them loose, everyone freaked out. Within a couple days they'd figured it out.

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#4 of 8 Old 04-04-2011, 07:41 AM
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I introduced two adult Easter Eggers to my adult Wyandotte and Australorp.  The 'Lorp could have cared less.  The Wyandotte went ballistic, even though I did it at night.  There was a bit of blood on at least two occasions, though they all roosted together, even on that first night.  After 3 days, though, they had it pretty much sorted out.  The Wyandotte was territorial over the hen house for a while, and the newcomers weren't able to come inside until evening.  Or, when Miss Queenie went into the run to eat, the newbies got chased into the house.  That lasted another week or so.  But the major picking and pecking was over quickly.  


If/when I do it again, I'll keep the newbies in a separate enclosure for a while and allow the established birds to look but not touch for a few days. 

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#5 of 8 Old 04-04-2011, 02:59 PM
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check out there is lots of good info. about raising chickens on this site. mine are not pets (they're layers), but i have gotten lots of helpful advice from this site. most recently, about introducing new chickens to the flock.

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#6 of 8 Old 04-04-2011, 09:26 PM
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I have a flock of RIR hens that I added Dominecker hens and a roo, plus Bantie hens and roo to and had NO problems.  I just brought the new ones home, put them in the coop w/o the RIR for half of the day and then let the new ones out and everyone got along.  My birds free range, fwiw.  This year we got chicks and some ducks.  I just moved them to the coop, but I have them so that the other birds can't get to them - I didn't want them eating all the chick food.

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#7 of 8 Old 04-05-2011, 09:26 AM
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When I raised young ones I put them side by side to the older hens seperated by a fence. When the new hens were on the same layer feed I then added them to the old group.Put them in the chicken shed at night. Lol,there is still bickering to this day.Some chickens are just bullies.If it gets real bad you will just have to eat or rehome the bully.

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#8 of 8 Old 04-05-2011, 04:18 PM
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I spent hours in front of my coop watching the chicks integrate into the flock. It was endlessly they are one big happy family...

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