Mixing new chickens. Please advise.

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Littlemisspepperpot

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Mixing new chickens. Please advise.
« on: September 07, 2021, 16:17 »
Hello, I'm brand new to keeping poultry.  In fact, I haven't bought them yet which leads me to my question and I hope you can help.
I wanted 4 Bantams but the breeder only has 2. Another breeder has 2 that they would be happy to sell. Would it be a bad idea to have 2 pairs from different breeders in my new coop as in would they fight from the off? New coop new friends. Would it all be too much for them? I'd really appreciate some advice. Thank you x

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New shoot

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Re: Mixing new chickens. Please advise.
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2021, 16:39 »
If both sets arrive together the coop will be neutral ground and you have a better chance of them settling in without too much fighting.  If one set are installed first, they will claim the coop.

There is no hard and fast rules with chicken pecking orders, so prepare for the worst and that will take a lot of the stress out of the situation.  You can get away with bantams in a rabbit hutch with a run underneath it.  I used to have one that I bought for very little money on Preloved and it did intermittent service for years.  Other options I have seen are a pop up rabbit run and a small homemade box for them to sleep in or a large dog crate that is covered for weather protection and taken into a shed or garage at night.

They will eventually form a flock, but having spare housing on hand makes life a lot easier. If you have a terrible bully, isolate her in the hutch and let the rest bond for a few days. If both sets fight, split them and introduce slowly in stages when you can referee and step in  :)

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grinling

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Re: Mixing new chickens. Please advise.
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2021, 21:01 »
I would always keep birds separate for a few weeks as you do not know if they carry any illness. It gives you a good chance to check them over.
Bantams are great, but do go broody often, so you will need to break the broodiness fast.

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perris

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Re: Mixing new chickens. Please advise.
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2021, 06:00 »
Don't rush your first purchase; beginners are liable to be dumped with unsuitable or poor stock, which in the worst case may bring poultry parasites or disease onto your property. One sick bird can kill many, now and in the future. You are wisely doing your research before setting out on what should become a wonderful experience; this warning is intended to stop it turning into heartache. It really does pay to get good foundation stock of exactly what you want, and not just what a breeder wants to pass on, especially to dispose of surplus cocks.

I wouldn't get two pairs - you definitely don't want 2 cocks in a flock of 4. You may not want any cocks; their crowing is not popular with everyone and especially with their neighbours. And if they are coming from different sources, at least 2 weeks' quarantine, separately, ideally in a shed or garage with a concrete base, is strongly advisable. Good luck! I love chicken-keeping and would recommend it to anyone.


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Littlemisspepperpot

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Re: Mixing new chickens. Please advise.
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2021, 09:29 »
I just want to thank you all for your help with this. I think, as a beginner, I should stick to the 2 (hens) for now until I feel comfortable expanding.  I have plenty of room for more  :nowink:

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grinling

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Re: Mixing new chickens. Please advise.
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2021, 14:42 »
That would be good. Double check that no animals can climb or burrow into your house area.
We have lots of experience on here, feel free to ask anything.
Highly recommend Haynes manual for chicken owners, brill book lots of pictures.
Your place where you will get them will supply hens as requested. You could ask if they are vaccinated birds.



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