Video about introducing new chickens.

The place to discuss everything else to do with chickens.

Moderators: Marigold, victorias poultry

Post Reply
User avatar
Marigold
Moderator
Posts: 5852
Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2011 6:27 pm

Video about introducing new chickens.

Post by Marigold » Sat Sep 29, 2018 12:41 pm

User avatar
Hen-Gen
Full Member
Posts: 365
Joined: Mon May 15, 2017 5:12 pm

Re: Video about introducing new chickens.

Post by Hen-Gen » Sun Sep 30, 2018 7:16 am

A well, very good presentation of the problems that ensue. I would say that two or three days of separation is not long enough. Two or three weeks is more appropriate. I have found that when small groups are put together then when free ranging the two groups still separate and it is two or three months before they truly homogenise.
I realise that this whole situation was due to his friend going on holiday but why not continue to keep them separate in their respective runs.
The thing that I would impress upon novice keepers however who may be considering buying birds to increase their flock is that this should be done October to January. During the dark months introductions result in only minor skirmishes. By contrast mid summer introductions can be very difficult. It is often said that hens come back into lay after winter on or near to St Valentines Day. This means that hormones are increasing and that territorial behaviour is increasing. At the other end of the year the moult indicates the end of territorial behaviour, usually in October.
User avatar
Marigold
Moderator
Posts: 5852
Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2011 6:27 pm

Re: Video about introducing new chickens.

Post by Marigold » Sun Sep 30, 2018 7:38 am

My thoughts exactly, HenGen. I think it implied that the new birds were taken on because of a crisis in his friend' life. Understandable, but problematic, obviously a last-minute situation rather than a planned introduction from choice. I agree about the 2-3 days separation being not usually enough, for quarantine reasons as well as social ones. Importing 5 birds to join a flock of 2 would have other space problems, I would think, unless the two originals were living in a huge run and coop left over from a previous larger flock. I expect his friend lived too far away for it to be possible to just keep them in their respective runs, and it didn't look as if he had enough space to create a bigger run division than using the little triangular run within his large run.
Good for him, though, to have taken on the birds and made the video, which is an interesting illustration of problems which may emerge. His Top Hen was certainly a force to be reckoned with! His friend must have been much relieved.
User avatar
LadyA
Full Member
Posts: 379
Joined: Sat May 20, 2017 9:15 am

Re: Video about introducing new chickens.

Post by LadyA » Sun Sep 30, 2018 10:49 am

In the circumstances, he did really well. I HATE introducing new hens! The first time I did, I had four newcomers, in a separate coop and pen which was within the old hens' outside area. The old girls spent an entire week doing nothing all day but circling the pen with the new girls in, screaming abuse! Just marching round and round, shouting their heads off! Over the years, I've found it's better to wrong foot the older hens, but gradually putting them in with the new girls once quarantine is over. I do it one hen at a time, at night, putting them into the new girls coop. I have found it minimises unpleasantness.
Now though, I'm going with an "all in/all out" policy. And I think the girls I have at the moment, who are coming up to two years old, I will keep until maybe December and then have them despatched. For a couple of reasons. Last year, during the horrific snow falls, it was just so physically exhausting to have to dig my way to the run several times a day, and the house is not suitable to shut them in for days, although in despair, I finally did shut them in as they were going downhill fast. The run is roofed, but the blizzards were coming in sideways, and there was over two feet of snow in there. So, I'm thinking: despatch this lot of hens around December. Let the land have a nice break over the worst of Winter, and meanwhile, I'm hoping to get the house replaced with a better one. possibly a shed type, which would be easier for me to clean out too! In a way, it's nice to have it so far off the ground, but it's just not big enough if they are in there all the time during bad weather. I'm still thinking about it. But if I don't have hens during the worst of the Winter, then it will at least take that burden from me, if we do get that type of snow again!
Lead me not into temptation. I can find the way myself!
User avatar
Tweetypie
Full Member
Posts: 226
Joined: Sun May 13, 2018 8:44 am

Re: Video about introducing new chickens.

Post by Tweetypie » Sun Sep 30, 2018 11:51 am

Interesting video. His two existing hens are the same type as my new hens. The opposite happened with my mine. I think that because Barbie and Cindy were smaller hens, didn't have "proper" beaks to peck hard and were possibly used to many other hens squabbling in the battery barn, that they just had to accept the situation. It took 2 months for Mabel and Miss Muffet to venture into Cindy and Barbie coop, where they now all sleep together. I wonder why, as the dominant hens, they decided to join the underdogs? As a new hen owner, it's intriguing watching their antics 😁
User avatar
LadyA
Full Member
Posts: 379
Joined: Sat May 20, 2017 9:15 am

Re: Video about introducing new chickens.

Post by LadyA » Sun Sep 30, 2018 4:01 pm

Tweetypie wrote:
Sun Sep 30, 2018 11:51 am
Interesting video. His two existing hens are the same type as my new hens. The opposite happened with my mine. I think that because Barbie and Cindy were smaller hens, didn't have "proper" beaks to peck hard and were possibly used to many other hens squabbling in the battery barn, that they just had to accept the situation. It took 2 months for Mabel and Miss Muffet to venture into Cindy and Barbie coop, where they now all sleep together. I wonder why, as the dominant hens, they decided to join the underdogs? As a new hen owner, it's intriguing watching their antics 😁
Maybe the nights are getting a little more chilly, and four feathery bodies is cosier than two feathery bodies! :D
Lead me not into temptation. I can find the way myself!
User avatar
Marigold
Moderator
Posts: 5852
Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2011 6:27 pm

Re: Video about introducing new chickens.

Post by Marigold » Sun Sep 30, 2018 7:41 pm

Interested to hear about your 'all out, all in' policy, LadyA. I agree about not having to look after them in the winter, it can be a real problem, especially when it snows. And no eggs as a reward! It certainly worked for me this Spring, - luckily, the snow came when I had an empty run, having dispatched the old hens, and it was really good to be able to spend a few days and take my time thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting the run and coop before the new ones came. In my case it wasn't quite as smooth as I hoped- do you remember my problems with Violet, that nutty Bluebell who kept trying to attack me and had to be rehomed? - and another one died of no known cause overnight in the coop, and I sent a third off with Violet for company - so after that I introduced 3 more new ones, younger than the remaining first lot were by then, but it went OK as I have plenty of space and gave the new ones the coop end of the run and put the remaining two original ones in the other part. Intros were OK, a bit of chasing but just enough to establish who was boss.
User avatar
LadyA
Full Member
Posts: 379
Joined: Sat May 20, 2017 9:15 am

Re: Video about introducing new chickens.

Post by LadyA » Sun Sep 30, 2018 9:00 pm

Marigold wrote:
Sun Sep 30, 2018 7:41 pm
Interested to hear about your 'all out, all in' policy, LadyA. I agree about not having to look after them in the winter, it can be a real problem, especially when it snows. And no eggs as a reward! It certainly worked for me this Spring, - luckily, the snow came when I had an empty run, having dispatched the old hens, and it was really good to be able to spend a few days and take my time thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting the run and coop before the new ones came. In my case it wasn't quite as smooth as I hoped- do you remember my problems with Violet, that nutty Bluebell who kept trying to attack me and had to be rehomed? - and another one died of no known cause overnight in the coop, and I sent a third off with Violet for company - so after that I introduced 3 more new ones, younger than the remaining first lot were by then, but it went OK as I have plenty of space and gave the new ones the coop end of the run and put the remaining two original ones in the other part. Intros were OK, a bit of chasing but just enough to establish who was boss.
Well, the cleaning/disinfecting things is a factor too in deciding, after so many years, on "all out/all in". As it happened, the last lot of hens died/had to be culled within some months of my husband's death, and I hadn't planned on getting more. However after buying free range, organic eggs for a few months at nearly €3 for six, I changed my mind! And having had a break, the ground had recovered, I was able to thoroughly clean - and this batch of hens have been really healthy. No issues at all. One started laying shell-less eggs a few weeks ago, but they all remained well, so I never found out which one it was or I'd have culled her. However, she seems to have stopped laying completely now, so that's good, although egg production is down to three or four a day. But, hey, they are two years old, and have been firing out five eggs a day up to now, without a hitch! I'm convinced the fact that they all came from the same place and are the same age has helped with keeping them healthy.
Lead me not into temptation. I can find the way myself!
Post Reply

Return to “Any Other Discussion About Chickens”