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Olly

When to get a new chicken?

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I've got two lovely gingernuts, but I am thinking of getting a third chicken. Mine have to stay in the run most of the time, occasional free-ranging at weekends and in the evenings, but I've got a run converter and extension (thanks Dilly!) so there is plenty of room for three. I'm worried about the introduction of a new one, however - I understand that it won't be pretty! :anxious:

 

So - since you're supposed to introduce them at night, would it be good to wait until winter, when the nights are longer?

I'd probably collect new chicken on a Saturday, and obviously try and make it a weekend when I can be around to supervise, but after that they will have to be on their own all day. That means about ten hours while I'm at work, is that too dangerous for a new chicken? I'm inclined to favour the 'put them together and get it over with approach' but as I can't be around, would it be safer to separate them at first? (I've seen the pic of how to put canes through the run to make two areas). Help, please! I know some of you will have some ideas on this.

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It can be done Olly - some feathers will fly, as usual, but it's not impossible. But as you have such a lovely long run, why not get 2 more? :lol: I have 4 in a standard run plus converter (although they probably free range at least 60% of the time). But yours would be great for 4! 8)

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My chickens disagree :lol: They have decided 3 is the right number and even 5 months later, 4 is one too many :( . They did great when Trinny was inside ill, and without Megan in general. Maybe it's just my chickens. :roll:

I've only done freeranging personally. I've been fine adding 1 to 2 twice this way though. 2 to 2 is still not resolved.

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well I am very tempted to get two more, I think the run plus converter and extension would be big enough. Would I need another feeder/drinker for four though?

 

I am worried about the introduction bit, because unless I took a couple of days off work I just couldn't supervise them closely, and I daren't let them free-range because of foxes. Much as I love watching chickens, I don't think I want to spend two days of my precious annual leave doing it! They would just have to get on with it, but after what you've said Chocchick, maybe one would be better. :(

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I've got 4 in a run plus 1 converter. Mine do free range a lot though.

My 4 are OK with just 1 grub feeder and 1 glug water station.

 

I introduced 1 new chicken last week. My 3 lovely girls turned into nasty creatures and all pounce on her together like a pack of dogs and pulled her feathers and ate them!!. When I was at home I put the the new chick in the run and shut the others out to free range. Every night I popped the new girl in through the eggport so they slept together.

 

Don't know if this helps but I had to work for 2 mornings last week and like you I wasn't able to be around. I couldn't risk leaving them in the run together because of the bullying. So I put the new girl in my childrens wooden wendy house and left the others in the run. Then put them together free ranging later in the day. Perhaps you've got somewhere your new ones could go whilst you are at work. If you get new ones on a Friday night, then this weekend you've got bank holiday Monday as an extra day to be around.

 

Today is day 8 for the new girl and they still chase her round the run and give her the odd peck but all is settling down now. They ignore each other when they free range.

 

I would say get 2 new ones. Your current 2 can only bully 1 new one at a time. Bit more shared out.

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well, I think you can guess that the answers I was hoping for were 'Yes, definitely get two, and get them as soon as possible'! (I may have to defer this a bit ... having problems with putting the converter and extension together :roll: but I'm sure I will be able to work it out. There's only so many combinations of four bits of mesh, aren't there.)

 

I do have a garage but I don't think I could leave a chicken in there all day ... will have to see what I can improvise, I've seen the picture of how someone split the run in two using bamboo canes, and perhaps that would be the answer to avoid too much bullying. Thanks!

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