Introducing new hens

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Parock40

Introducing new hens

Post by Parock40 »

Hi All

I have 8 Hiline hens which are 70 weeks old. I want to know what I should watch for when introducing new hens as I have to pick up 3 black rocks that are at point of lay and also 8 Warrens which are 70 weeks old, from a free range farm, I am not sure how I introduce them. I dont want my Hilines to catch anything either.

So any advice would be good. Thanks x
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BabyBantam
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Re: Introducing new hens

Post by BabyBantam »

Hi,
Not sure about disease, but I introduced 2 hens to my 3 a couple of months ago & had no problems. I cleaned the ark out the morning I picked up the new birds & dowsed everything including the birds in louse powder. I then dropped the 2 new birds into the ark nest box once it was totally dark (about 11pm) after dowsing them in the same louse powder so they all smelled the same. Not sure if this is usually the way to do it, but seemed to work OK and other than the new birds staying indoors for the next couple of days before venturing out, no fights or any serious pecking.
Parock40

Re: Introducing new hens

Post by Parock40 »

Thanks, I will get some louse powder. thanks x
Chuck
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Re: Introducing new hens

Post by Chuck »

Sounds like your new birds will be coming form two sources and ideally, both need to be isolated from your existing birds for a fortnight to make sure the new ones are not bringing any disease.

If you are lucky, the new ones will integrate fairly easily but sometimes the new ones are not accepted and have a hard time although it sometimes works better if you introduce more rather than one or two.

Making them smell the same seems to work well for some keepers but it has never worked for me.
If you are willing to go that extra mile for your poultry - make sure you're going in the right direction !
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chrismahon
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Re: Introducing new hens

Post by chrismahon »

We spray ours, existing and new, with lavender when we introduce them into the coop at night so they all smell the same. We get up early to let them all into the run together and watch for problems. Before that we have the new birds in a run alongside the old for two weeks so they all get used to each other. They do fight but the wire stops major damage. Ideally both sets of new birds would be kept separately as Chuck says, well away from your existing for at least two weeks to check for illness before that.
With live viruses used for innoculation now the Warrens may be carriers. ILT can flare up when stressed with some all their lives and will be transmitted, so look carefully for runny noses and swelling around eyes. Birds will need to be despatched. Two of our birds have it again because of the moult -they caught it originally over 2 years ago from Copper Stars introduced. Wash your hands to avoid carrying anything across as well.
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Marigold
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Re: Introducing new hens

Post by Marigold »

Parock40 wrote:Hi All

I have to pick up 3 black rocks that are at point of lay
Exactly how old are these Rocks? POL can mean anything from 16 weeks onwards, and if they are younger than 22 weeks and not yet laying they're not too likely to start this autumn, and this will affect their behaviour, not being mature hens yet. If they are young POLs, they will be more submissive than the 70-week-old girls, and although genuine Rocks are naturally quite feisty by nature, they may be the ones who will be more at risk of bullying when introduced as they are younger and less mature than the others.
The other possible issue with more than doubling the number of hens in the run will be space. How many sq. metres is the run they will all be in together? If you increase from 8 to 19 birds, it would need to be at least 30-40 sq.metres minimum to avoid problems.

I think what you're trying to do could be quite complicated - are the Rocks and Warrens coming from the same farm? this might make things a bit easier or less risky, but it's quite likely as they are different ages,they won't have been in the same run together, so in effect they will be coming from 2 different environments. They should really be quarantined separately, ie 2 runs/coops for the 2 new groups, plus your existing ones.
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