If you're thinking about getting some new chickens, but wondering how you're going to introduce them to the flock you already have, you've come to the right place. It takes proper planning and care in order to do it right, so we've done a lot of research to give you the best information possible to prepare you!
Separate New Chickens From Old
This is more of a preventative measure to quarantine the new chickens and make sure they are healthy and ready to meet your existing flock. Check for signs of lice and mites, eye boogers, blocked nostrils, dull comb or scaly legs.
Introduce Them Slowly
Don't ever rush when introducing your new and old flock. If you throw them in with the old flock right away, it can cause fighting and other unnecessary trouble for you. Try putting your new chickens into their own pen next to your old chickens in their own pen. This way, they can get accompanied to each other without being able to touch each other.
Introduce Them Properly
If you have free range chickens, let the new chickens out to roam and after a few minutes go by, let your existing chickens out to roam freely with the new. There will be a little bit of squabbling at first, and this is normal, because chickens have a pecking order, so the old chickens will feel superior. If the jostling becomes too intense and your chickens are bleeding or look injured, put a stop to it immediately. Otherwise, let them have free range for the day.
Once they've gotten to know each other, it's time to put the new chickens in with the old in the coop and let them get settled. If the new chickens try to return to their old pen, don't stop them. They might not be comfortable yet. A good way of knowing whether or not they are comfortable is making sure they are eating and drinking regularly and keeping an eye on their egg laying and production. It will take a little while for them to officially settle in, about 5 to 6 weeks, but once the time goes by, everything should run smoothly.
Check back next week for more tips and tricks! As always, follow us on Instagram for daily chicken facts and memes!