Introducing new birds to the flock- any thoughts please?

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shiatsusu

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Hi everyone- very excited as we're getting a new bird today to go with the four girls we got a couple of weeks ago  ::) She's a cream crested legbar hybrid (a columbine). I wondered whether anyone had any tips for introducing new girls? I had thought I would get her later this afternoon, bring her home at dusk and put them all straight to bed. What d'you all think?

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poultrygeist

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Re: Introducing new birds to the flock- any thoughts please?
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2009, 09:38 »
I've never had to do it but the advice is usually to separate them during the day so that they can see each other but can't get to the new girl, then let them sleep together.
After a couple of weeks, you can introduce her in with the others and let her find her position.

Some who's done it will be able to fill in the details a bit better  :)

Good luck

Rob 8)

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Vember

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Re: Introducing new birds to the flock- any thoughts please?
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2009, 09:55 »
Sounds a good idea :)

Make sure you give her a complete once over for any creepy crawlies and check everything else is ok before putting her in.
I now quarantine new birds for at least a week, having in the past fetched a lot of lice in with new birds :(
They looked really healthy - no sniffles etc.... but I didn't check for lice they soon moved on to my older girls who then one by one stopped laying :(
Hard lesson learnt in my book  :blush:

Have you got a back up house/run just incase they don't get on?

Let us know how you get on :)

Sarah :)

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shiatsusu

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Re: Introducing new birds to the flock- any thoughts please?
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2009, 10:20 »
Thanks Rob and Sarah. She is coming from the same place we got the others but I will give her a thorough check BEFORE bringing her home :unsure: I haven't got a separate house/ run but we could probably cobble something to together if the need arises. We do have one dominant girl (the only one laying), and the other three seem to be about equal in the order. Not sure whether this will help her find a place or doesn't mean a thing - will let you know how we fare!  :)

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nicchick

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Re: Introducing new birds to the flock- any thoughts please?
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2009, 19:38 »
Hi, we have sectioned off part of our run so the new hens have been with the others for nearly a week and tonight at corn time we opened the gate. There was a little pecking - but nowhere near as bad as when we put two new ones in with the two older ones at night. Our first two were very placid and they have become a really nice flock of four. The two new girls had started to become more confident so we let them mix and plan to carry that on for a while before they are mixed permanently. I think it's one of those things that takes a little time.
One thing our chicken man told us is if you can move things around a bit so it's new for all of them that can help, we plan to put in a new larger hen house for them and will change all the climbing frame round too. Hope some of this is of use, Nic.

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pookey

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Re: Introducing new birds to the flock- any thoughts please?
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2009, 20:54 »
i have always added the new chicken/s of the evening as it gets dark and sprayed all birds with a vinegar and water solution with no problems.  when I feed the following day, the older girls get a bit bolshy but all settle in quick enough.

(the vinegar smell is suposed to confuse the birds to whos new as they all smell the same.  Apparently chickens use smell to recognise each other)

My chickens have a coup but are free roaming of the day which probably eliviates alot of hassle as they have places to escape if things hot up
Avoid fruit and nuts.  You are what you eat.

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poultrygeist

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Re: Introducing new birds to the flock- any thoughts please?
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2009, 21:04 »
That sounds like a clever idea Pookey. I assumed they went by sight. Good tip. :)

Rob 8)

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shiatsusu

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Re: Introducing new birds to the flock- any thoughts please?
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2009, 23:07 »
Thanks everyone, some really useful stuff (and reassuring!  :unsure:)
Mavis arrived this afternoon - beautiful markings and she has a lovely "hat", which the others were clearly jealous of as they pecked her so we moved her out into the veg patch and then tried introducing one of the more placid girls which worked until the placid one flew out to join her friends. So then we put the more aggressive one (my maran who is otherwise utterly- big surprise she was the most aggressive of the lot with mavis) in with her and they seemed to settle down after a bit. Eventually the original four went to bed first and Mavis was popped in when everyone else had settled- there was no noise so I hope she will be ok. Tomorrow we are going to portion off part of the run and let them roam side by side but divided from each other and put them together at night. I hope in time they will all get used to one another. Excellent tip about the vinegar Pookey thank you- I will certainly try that out tomorrow. I'll post some pics of our new girl too- I'm looking forward to blue eggs!  :)

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shiatsusu

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Re: Introducing new birds to the flock- any thoughts please?
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2009, 11:12 »
Mavis is now safely installed in her new patch running alongside the others and after initial posturing they are leaving her alone so I'm hopeful things will settle. Here she is.
Mavis first day.jpg

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Ruby Red

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Re: Introducing new birds to the flock- any thoughts please?
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2009, 14:50 »
 
 It is usually a better idea to introduce more than one new hen as if things turn nasty then they wont pick on just one. Its not fair or kind to the hen.
Oh for those halcyon days of England long ago

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Aunt Sally

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Re: Introducing new birds to the flock- any thoughts please?
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2009, 16:20 »
She's a very pretty bird :D

She'll be fine if you keep them separated but in close view until the old girls get used to her, then a bit of supervised free ranging before cohabitation  ;) 
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nicchick

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Re: Introducing new birds to the flock- any thoughts please?
« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2009, 18:13 »
We introduced two together to join our existing two and it became three against one so I wouldn't worry about her being on her own. Keeping them together but separated is best, don't rush it. We did our second playtime tonight at corn time and they swapped pens for a while before swapping back and going to bed. Nic.

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shiatsusu

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Re: Introducing new birds to the flock- any thoughts please?
« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2009, 19:41 »
I did wonder whether we should have got 2 but frankly it's too late now anyway! Thanks Aunt Sally (I have a real aunt sally :nowink:) and Nic- some useful advice I will def move things round the pen to level the playing field a bit and now we're set up with Mavis immediately "next door" we don't have to rush things. They all went to bed without a peck or squabble together tonight- bless her, the others put themselves to bed and she flew over to join them  ::) Obviously has a short memory...  :blink: or is just very forgiving  :D Rennie (cuckoo maran, previously bottom of pecking order) is the worst culprit- my HTB says she's just glad to have someone she can peck for a change. Funny, coz she's the biggest of the lot.

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drumcrow

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Re: Introducing new birds to the flock- any thoughts please?
« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2009, 04:27 »
yep put her in at dusk thats the best time all right. :)
if you have chickens you have rats



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