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Adding chickens to a flock can be super stressful for you and your birds, so we put together this article to help you navigate your way through introducing new chickens to your flock.
Before Introducing Chickens To A Flock
- If you brought home adult chickens they will need to be placed in quarantine for 7-14 days before introducing them to the rest of your flock. You do this in order to ensure that they aren’t carrying anything that your flock hasn’t been exposed to. Now is the time to check them for mites under their wings. Treat it before the introduction so they do not transfer it the rest of your flock. Keep an eye on them over the quarantine stage to make sure they aren’t showing signs of being sick or stressed from the trip to your house. Even if you know the place you got them from was clean and the birds well cared for it’s best to keep them in isolation for at least a week.
How To Introduce New Chickens To A Flock
- Introduce them in groups. Introductions can be hard on single birds with this in mind it’s best if they have friends.
- Only introduce new birds to your flock when they are around the same size as the ones already in your flock. Given that chickens can be really mean to outsiders this will help to give the new birds a fighting chance to successfully enter the flock.
- Ease them in slowly. Place a cage with the new birds inside near your coop where they can see each other.
- Introducing chickens at night while the rest of the flock is quietly roosting. This gives the new birds a chance to get used to their surroundings.
- It helps if you introduce new birds and your existing flock in a separate area. We have a temporary fence around our coops where we have been allowing our older birds and new Black French Copper Marans get used to each other.
Once You Introduce New Chickens To A Flock
- Some picking on the new birds is normal as they develop a pecking order. With this in mind however you will want to keep an eye on them if the other birds begin to draw blood. If so you’ll need to remove them from the flock until they heal up. We treat ours with colloidal silver or any ointment we use on ourselves.
- If you notice one bird being more aggressive then the rest toward the newcomers it is best to place it in isolation for a few days. This is in the hope that with a bit of alone time they will check that behavior.
- Don’t rush new birds into your flock, do it in bits. You may need to pull them back into a separate cage where your other birds can’t reach them.
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