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Introducing New Chickens — The Grow Network Community
In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.

- Margaret Atwood

Introducing New Chickens

dimck421dimck421 Posts: 99 ✭✭✭

My roo died. It was a sad sad day, on the homestead, indeed. The loss was fully unexpected. He was young, handsome, and so very sweet. Lorax was a gentle giant, while he believed himself to be small. When I bought him, I knew very little about Sapphire Gems. Part of my lack of knowledge included how to properly identify a roo from a hen, while they were still tiny chicks. Yup, I ended up with a roo in the mix. Lorax grew to be BIG, and I do mean B I G! His heart could not support his fast massive growth. Another part of my lack of knowledge was that the breed is known for the roos suffering from this health concern. This is something to consider, if you are considering a Sapphire Gem rooster joining your family.

After having a roo and hearing him most enthusiastically welcome mornings, as the sun broke the darkness, surely, I desired another roo. Besides, what great gatekeepers roosters are! They, bravely, announce all odd sounds and trespassers!

Prince, the light gold Cochen Bantan Rooster, joined this story. (Good grief he is cute!) Being small in stature, while believing himself to be giant, he is quite the opposite of Lorax. The woman, from whom I purchased Prince, said she just tosses the new chicken in with the others and lets them work it out. "Oooook, sounds simple enough. Let's test drive that method," said I. Prince, feeling mighty mighty, enters the coop, filled with awaiting grumpy gals. Poor Prince was not feeling the love from those hens, at all! Quickly, I removed him, treated his combat boo boo, coated him with a heaping helping of No Peck, and returned him to his not so best friends. With his new found confidence, and sporting great smelling cologne, he dared those gals to even come near him, as he shifted his weight from one foot to the other. Indeed, they kept their distance, after all, at this point, he smelled a slight bit unusual and was, well, purple in colour. What self-respecting hen wants to deal with that?

As we all know, once one obtains ONE new chicken, they enter into that secret addiction few discuss. One absolutely must acquire yet more new chickens! A friend gave me two young roos, satisfying the desire! I applied No Peck to both, and introduced them to their specified coops, filled with their brand new best friends, the hens. Peace guided the planet! Neither hens nor roos suffered the slightest boo boo! Rooster announcements joyously fill the air far and wide!

Share how you introduce new chickens to the flocks!


  • merlin44merlin44 Posts: 441 ✭✭✭✭

    Adjoining coops separated only by chicken wire. They can see each other and seem to work out the pecking order without the possibility of injury. When all is calm, I move the old ones into the new one's coop in the evening when I close the it for the night.

  • LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 1,493 admin

    I have done as @merlin44 and have also just dumped them in. Sometimes, retrieval & separation needed to be done if the bullying got too aggressive & was more than figuring the new addition(s) out. Sometimes it was a bit of kerfuffle with everyone figuring everything out within a few hours. It depends a lot on what space I have available, temperament of the breed(s), age, sexes involved, etc. But I will admit that I take more chances than not.

    The last mix that I did involved mixing 2 hatches that were 1 month apart and both still not mature. I waited until the young ones were a decent size (5 wks) and popped them all in. Numbers can help. Popping one in by itself would have been asking for trouble. These were funny. Neither group would mingle with the other. It took a few days, and nobody actually fought. Now you would never know that they were once afraid of the other.

    I have dumped a rooster/hen in with aggressive hens. The only time that worked well was when I added mature jersey giant. They don't wimp out, but take control.

    I will be mixing certain birds again soon.

  • anectarine1anectarine1 Posts: 27 ✭✭✭

    I cage the new chickens inside the coop. In a few days they are all used to each other and I let them join the others at night when they are all calm. I’ve had great success with this. Everyone seems to get along.

  • kabaraskabaras Posts: 9 ✭✭✭

    We add ours at night. They seem to not bother anyone in the morning....like they have been there before. They are animals and no matter what will do their "pecking" lol order.

  • LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 1,493 admin

    @anectarine1 & @kabaras Yes! Night additions help, along with extra food & water stations & a place for smaller newbies to hide if necessary.

  • dimck421dimck421 Posts: 99 ✭✭✭

    Some of my first family blending occurred at night, after leaving them in sight of each other. One group got wise to the plan. The other seemed not to notice there were new chickens in the crowd.

  • JOBallingerJOBallinger Posts: 15 ✭✭✭

    I too cage my newbies inside the chicken house with the "already at home" chicks. I usually leave them there about a week so they can become familiar with each other. At weeks end I turn them loose from their cage into the coop and they seem to fit right in. I have never had a problem this way.

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