Sunday, September 18, 2011

Adding New Hens to an Established Flock

Dear Miss Lizzy,
I realize you have posted about adding new faces to a flock of hens, but what advice would you give to a person who is adding ADULT birds to a flock of non-laying hens?  Will this work out well for both ages of birds involved in the 're-grouping'?
Wondering in Wisconsin
Miss Lizzy
Dear "Wondering",
The same helpful hints Miss Lizzy has given before DO APPLY in this situation: Introduce new birds as close to dusk or nightfall, when its ROOSTING TIME for all.  When the birds awake in the morning, little or no notice will be taken for all concerned, as they've had all evening and morning to get used to the new scents and an extra 'head count' taken at nightfall.
"Nameless" Animal lover
As a matter of fact, just the other week a couple of "new-bees" were added to our flock of young pullets back here in the Woods!  oooOOOOOOoooooo!!!  A young girl (who shall remain nameless!) had to re-home her 2 beloved laying hens, LuLu and Gertie.  After investigating other options, she came in contact with 'the ChickenWrangler', and what good fortune she had that day!  The family came over to do some investigations of the grounds and of Coop Security.  Lucky LuLu and Gregarious Gertrude, after a brief stand-off with the established flock, were able to remain on the top of the pecking order because of their age status as "ready producers".

Royal 'New-Combers'!
Age before Beauty, Miss Lizzy always says! oooOOOOOooooo! However, if there is an elderly hen that has neared the end of her laying days, it is best to add her to a group of 'Retired Senior Citizens' because the younger gals may perceive her as INFIRM and could challenge her authority in the days ahead, leading to an unhappy ending.  Likewise, remember to quarantine any birds that may appear ill or a little "off", since the needs and desires of the MANY will outweigh the needs of the FEW (meaning the Best Eats will go to the healthiest of the flock).  One must always think of the whole flock as well; you don't wish the rest of the birds to come down with any ills that affect one or two birds.  Always have a 'House of Isolation" at the ready.
    Miss Lizzy hopes this answers all of your concerns.  oooOOOOOOOooooo!
Miss Lizzy, signing off!


Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

Glad to hear it all worked out Lizzy!

Chatty Crone said...

Glad to see you back here!

Well all I can say is that is sure looks very complicated and lots of rules.

Pecking orders - teehee.

I love to see your hens though - they are so pretty.

Love, sandie

Angela said...

I'm so glad it worked out well for the hens and the young lady who gave them to you. She knew they would be well taken care of after seeing how well you care for your other hens. And they are living in the nicest chicken palace there is! said...

Thanks for the tips. We had one rooster and three hens and are now down to just one hen (others eaten by what we think was a bobcat!). I really want to get another rooster (I miss the crowing!) and a few more hens!