Inside: Introduce your chickens to a new coop successfully with expert tips. Learn to navigate challenges and foster a harmonious flock dynamic.
Introducing chickens to your existing flock can be a challenge, but with these tips and tricks, you can make it a success. Learn how to quarantine the new bird, choose the right time, introduce them in a neutral space, supervise the introduction, provide enough space, and offer treats to help them bond in this helpful guide.
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Introducing Chickens to A New Coop
If you're a chicken owner, you know how much fun it can be to raise a flock of these charming birds. But what do you do when you want to add a new chicken to your existing group? Let's go over some tips and tricks to help make the introduction process as smooth as possible.
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Quarantine the New Chicken
If you are bringing new chickens onto your property, before you even think about introducing new chickens to your existing flock, it's important to quarantine them for a few weeks.
This will help ensure that they don't have any illnesses or diseases that could spread to your other birds.
This step isn't necessary if you are hatching them yourself.
Introduce the Chickens in A Safe, Controlled Space
When it's time to introduce the new chicken to your flock, it's best to keep the new birds caged. This is to protect them, as much as your own flock. There are some ways to do this.
Dog kennels: if you free range, place it in your yard where your chickens are. This method also works for chickens in a run as you can place the kennel in the run.
Grow Out Pen: If raising your own birds this is a great options. Especially if you are able to place it in your run while the birds are young, about 6 weeks. As they grow everyone gets to know each other safely.
Choose the Right Time
The best time to introduce a new chicken to your flock is when they're young, around 6-8 weeks old. Older chickens can be more territorial and may be more likely to reject a new bird.
The best time to move new chickens into an existing coop, after introductions is at night. Chickens become slow and stupid at night. The idea here is that they won't notice the new ones come morning.
Supervise the Introduction
Make sure you're there to supervise the introduction process. Chickens can be aggressive and may try to establish dominance over the new bird. Keep an eye out for any signs of bullying or fighting.
I add chickens at night as mentioned before, but I keep a close eye on everyone when I let them out in the morning. There is going to be some pecking order fighting, you need to let it happen just make sure that things don't get too out of hand.
Chickens love treats, and offering them can be a great way to help your new bird integrate into the flock. Consider giving them all a special treat, like mealworms, to help them bond.
I make sure that their morning feed is spread out a little more the first couple of days just to make sure that the new birds are getting feed as well.
Introducing a new chicken to your existing flock can be a tricky process, but with these tips and tricks, you can make it a success. Remember to quarantine the new bird, choose the right time, safely introduce them, supervise the introduction, and offer treats to help them bond. Good luck!
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does it take for hens to accept new hens? It can take quite a long time, up to 3 weeks for new chickens to get to like each other.
Can I put new chickens in with my old ones? So it is best to always try and introduce two or more chickens together at a time- even better if they are already well acquainted! I tested this this summer. Adding one chicken was full of drama, adding three was a breeze, no chicken drama at all.