You’ve said it yourself or heard that before. I’m sure of it! I know I said it. And…I said it quicker than I ever imagined I would after we started our flock.
How and when you integrate new birds to your flock is a very, VERY important process. It will take time, good observation, and some patience. But, it is vital for the health and overall wellbeing of all your bird friends involved.
The good news is, a proper introduction will help your flock welcome in new family members, young or old, with little issue. Check out this fantastic article for sound information on when and how to establish flock introductions! Here are a few fundamental steps for a successful integration:
No introductions should be made during molting season or at night.
Make sure all of your birds are healthy before integrating.
Roosters can help the process.
Introduce new flock members in groups.
Never do a “cold turkey” introduction into an established flock.*
Free range playtime together can really help!
Don’t rush the process.
*It is wise to never do a cold introduction of new birds to your existing flock. Doing cold introductions (no period of adjustment or integration process) can set up your flock for stress. That stress could turn into bullying, egg-eating, shunning, general aggression, injury or illness. Remember, your flock definitely has a pecking order. Interrupting the established order improperly can lead to unnecessary problems.
However, there’s no reason you can’t add to the flock happily and successfully. Take it slow and steady, be observant, follow some great fundamental steps and you will see for yourself; more feathers=more joy! (Ahhhh, chicken math.)