integrating new hens

In my previous post I mentioned the necessity of having to butcher one of the hens from our flock that turned out to be a rooster. Well, sure enough, another “hen” turned out to be a rooster. It, too, met the same end.

Which left me with three birds.

I’ve read a lot of horror stories about integrating flocks. But I’m doing it. Three chickens just wasn’t enough.

Through the graciousness of a woman who I met on the Duluth City Chickens listserv I picked up two, two-month old Barred Rock hens. They are smaller than my Buff Orphington, Americauna and Golden Sex Link, all of whom are four months old.

After the death of my roosters the Golden Sex Link is now the dominant bird.

Here’s my strategy. First, I picked the Barred Rocks up late at night. I put them in the coop when the other three hens were asleep.

I have a small, simple chicken tractor. With that tractor I’m actively working to break up the flock dynamics all the while integrating the new birds. To do that I’m leaving the small, new birds with the calm Buff Orphington in the main run. The flighty Americauna and dominant Golden Sex Link are in the tractor.

I’m going to keep it this way for the next day or two. Then switch the birds around. All the while my other goal is to get those small birds as big as possible ASAP.

Next post will be on how all this is shaking out.

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2 Responses to integrating new hens

  1. GrandmaVickiAnn says:

    So…have the new members of your group integrated?

  2. Augustin says:

    So…have the new members of your group integrated?
    +1

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