Adding new birds to flock

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wildfowler4

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Adding new birds to flock
« on: January 02, 2011, 19:26 »
We are going to see some more girls tomorrow as my children want one more each to add to our current stock. We currently have three Cream Legbars which are 13 weeks old. We are looking at a RHR and a White Leghorn to add. We were thinking of POIL's or even same age. We are thinking of introducing them late ion eveni9ng into the hen house. Any suggestions?

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jinty1911

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Re: Adding new birds to flock
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2011, 20:10 »
You will need to keep them seperate for a couple of weeks to make sure that no illnesses are being carried to your present girls but keep them insight of each other. After that introduce them at night when they are all sleepy.  Am sure someone else will give you more advice sortly.
Jinty

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orchardlady

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Re: Adding new birds to flock
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2011, 20:12 »
If at all possible keep any new birds in a separate run and house from your original birds for a good few weeks. They may be carriers of nasties that you don't want to be passed on to your current girls. If you do not have spare accommodation build or buy some. This may sound an expensive investment but it will be in use in the future as a hospital wing, or a broody coop or again as a quarantine pen. Your new birds will be very shy and need time to adapt to their new home let alone compete for feed, shelter etc with your original girls. Keep your new hens in view of your current birds and as the quarantine period progresses bring them closer together.

OL

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orchardlady

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Re: Adding new birds to flock
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2011, 20:26 »
One other thing. Try to buy new birds that are the same age as your original birds because if you do get older birds you may be faced with some fairly serious bulling problems.

OL

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wildfowler4

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Re: Adding new birds to flock
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2011, 20:37 »
thanks for responses. We dont have a seperate coop at preset but taking onboard recommendatins we will look at taking on 2 more girls from same age group to reduce risk of problems

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ferretkeeper

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Re: Adding new birds to flock
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2011, 22:44 »
I didn't have a separate house when I introduced POLs to my ex batts, I wanted to utilise the space in the house I already had. It was a big mistake - because I put 2 new younger birds of a smaller breed in with 4 large bossy hens, both were bullied, one ended up losing her eye in a pecking fight, not good, very expensive and all a bit unnecesary.

However I did have other birds to house temporarily and knocked up something makeshift from half a dozen pallets until the proper house was assembled. Didn't look pretty but the girls didn't mind!

Also I use the metal mesh panels that you see round building sites to make runs and enclosures, combined with electric netting. They're handy for dividing a large run if you ever needed to separate part of the flock so they can see each other. I got them cheap 2nd hand from a hire company. This means I can construct runs wherever I need, I've moved them about to keep the ground fresh and being 2m high they're pretty much fox proof for climbing over.

Just make sure the feet are dug in or the chickies will limbo under!

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hillfooter

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Re: Adding new birds to flock
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2011, 00:42 »
Just introducing the new chx at night won't prevent the feathers flying in the morning.  Your old birds will try and drive the new ones off their territory and will guard the food and water to prevent them feeding.  Either get some temporary panels as Ferretkeepers suggests or make some 1.8mtrs x 0.9mtrs panels from 50X25mm batoning and 1/2inch weld mesh and construct a tent type enclosure you can keep the new birds in for a couple of weeks quarentine but in sight of the old birds.  then panels can be fixed together using wire and or bungees, thick polythene or tarps make them into covered housing if needed.

Once quarentine is over introduce them into the run but still separated for a few days to a week or so.  When you finally integrate them make sure there are several feeders and drinkers so the old birds can't guard them all.

This should get you over the serious territorial fighting but there will still be pecking order disputes to be sorted so some conflict will still occur until that's sorted but usually this isn't so serious.

If you can leave the introduction until spring it will make the temporary housing easier to construct as it doesn't need to be as weather proof.
Truth through science.

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Chicken Pete

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Re: Adding new birds to flock
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2011, 11:44 »
As Hillfooter has mentioned feathers will fly!!!
I introduced four new hens to existing one after 3 weeks of isolation but where they could see each other,yet introducing them created problems that resulted in the 4 new hens refusing to come out of the coop.  Eventually after 3 weeks 2 braved it followed by 1 more 2 days later,however, the last one took a total of 4 weeks to join in.  There were still a few 'getting to know you' squabbles but all is OK now.
So ggod luck and be patient.

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wildfowler4

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Re: Adding new birds to flock
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2011, 20:05 »
Hi All,

Thanks for all the kind and useful comments and information
Well we got two new birds yesterday and they are about 24 weeks old.  We put them straight into the coop whilst our existing birds were roaming in the garden.  Our coop is very small and as our chickens have free roam the entitr garden I decided to let them all mingle until supervision. The white leghorn has integrated with our chickens straight away with no issues. The RIR initially started to try to bully the dominant one of our flock but has since settled down. All seems good at moment but I will monitor. I have a dog cage which I can use if any issues arise but I hope all will be well Children are also happy as these two are their birds.

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hillfooter

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Re: Adding new birds to flock
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2011, 20:59 »
You may not have a problem as your existing birds aren't marure yet so won't have become too teritorial yet.

HF

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wildfowler4

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Update Re: Adding new birds to flock
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2011, 19:16 »
Update. Our new birds have settled in very well now. The Leghorn laid on her first day with us and has continued to lay an egg nearly every day. My daughter was very happy as this was her bird.  The RIR has been a bit adventurous and has slowly settled down (I will post a different topic about his flightiness. She laid her first egg last week. She laid it in a very strange place. We have a cover under one of the tables in the garden to stop them perching in there and she made a nice little space in the cover and laid her egg there so my son was very happy about that as is was wondering when she would start to lay. She has laid all her eggs in the nest box since. She is also laying about every 24 hrs. They are all getting on very well together and the Cream Legbar’s are doing very well. They are nearly 16 weeks old. :)



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