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BrightonSteve

Introducing 2 newbies to 1 existing

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Hi - I know this is a topic that comes up regularly and I've read some of the other threads with interest, but wondered if there was anyone who's done what I'm thinking of doing and can offer any tips.

 

As I mentioned in a thread the other day, I had to have one of our two remaining hybrids PTS when the vet discovered a tumour in her uterus. This leaves us with Bette, a Columbian Blacktail, who clearly isn't happy on her own - lots of squawking and throwing herself at us when we appear outside.

 

I want to introduce two new birds this weekend but will they gang up on Bette? I'm also going to take the opportunity to extend their run before they are introduced, so they'll all have more room. I can separate the new run for a few days if necessary, although it means they'll all have less space per bird (they don't free range) and only one half could have direct access to the house, although I can do food/water/grit in both halves.

 

I've ready some conflicting advice about the initial introduction - some say do it during the day, in adjacent runs/cages, so they can see each other. Others say pop the new birds into the coop once dark so the original bird is drowsy, then whisk out the newbies the following morning.

 

Any words of wisdom or suggestions?!

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Hi

 

I have just introduced four hens to my two that I had left.

One was broody which left the other one quite lonely as she wandered around on her own.

 

When they arrived I put them in a penned off part of the garden infront of the run and let the lone chicken watch them for the rest of the day.

When the lone chicken went to bed I picked up the four new ones and put them in the coop. I made sure that there was absolutely no light getting into the coop early but was still ventilated. In the morning I let them all out and the lone one just went off free ranging as usual and the broody snapped out of it quick time and is busy showing the new chicks the ropes. Its as if she thinks she has hatched them. I think their chirping is music to her ears :lol:

 

I do keep a watch to make sure there is no bullying and so far they have all been fine.

You might find your original hen will be quite vocal to start with but she is lonely and hopefully will accept them pretty quickly.

I did throw a few treats in during the day to keep them all occupied and I did scatter them far and wide in the run so that they found bits and kept them looking for longer. Perhaps keeping them busy is the key.

 

Good luck with your intros and your lovely new birds.

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Hi!

I was in the same situation as you a few months back after one of my 2 passed away. Like yours, my last remaining, Mary, really wasn't happy on her own :( so I made the decision to get 2 more.

 

I went for a slightly different option with mine, I actually introduced them in the garage! It was daylight, but obviously darker than usual in the garage which kept them calm. Bringing Mary out of her run meant that she was also disorientated, aswell as the new girls (who were also a bit younger), and the introduction went better than I could ever have hoped. I went in armed with a water pistol, which was used once, and that was the end of it! I put them all to bed together that night, let them out in mary's run in the morning and they've been bestest buddies ever since. :dance::clap:

 

I hope this gives you some ideas but I think alot of people have found it 10 times easy introducing when there is only 1 hen left, I think you'll be fine!

 

Good luck!

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