Mixing old and new hens

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Tomorrow I am getting 2 Buff Orpington hens(are laying) and 1 rooster. Currently I have 1 Shaver sex-link rooster (who is going on the chopping block!) and 7 hens.

Should I keep the new stock separate from the older hens or can I safely mix them together?

Thanks for any responses.


-- Silvia T. Stoddart (organic_farmer@hotmail.com), March 09, 2001


We cage our new hens in the chicken coop for 2 days so that they know where home is and meet the old (free range) hens through the wire. When we release them we generally don't have problems and they happily roost with the old hens. Good luck.

-- David C (fleece@eritter.net), March 09, 2001.

We haven't had chickens for a few years as dogs were a problem, but we did have a problem introducing new chickens with the holdovers from the year before. The older chickens were very aggressive to new tenants and they had to be watched, and some got pecked a lot.

-- Bruce burdge (comfreybruce@richmond.com), March 09, 2001.

If you are going to butcher the old rooster anyway, you might plan to do that before you put the two groups together, to avoid that potentially nasty fight. It is good if you can have a fence between the two groups for the getting to know you period, otherwise, consider putting the new ones in at eveningtime so they are settling down for the evening when they meet.

-- mary, texas (marylgarcia@aol.com), March 09, 2001.

It's always best to quarantine new birds for a couple of weeks so you don't introduce any disease to your present stock.

I have no problems introducing new stock with this method: When the birds are roosting and sleeping at night, I place the new birds on the roosts. Seems when they all awake in the morning, they think they're all family!

-- ~Rogo (rogo2020@yahoo.com), March 10, 2001.

I always put new chickens in a rabbit type cage and set it in the hen house. I give them plenty of time to bond with each other, maybe even a week or more, and I have never had a problem. I do this when introducing older hens or when I have hatched young ones. (which takes a much longer period of time as they are growing and feathering out.) T. Crockett

-- T. Crockett (pbandjallen@jcn.net), March 14, 2001.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ