What is our minimum for purchase? Chickens build family units with the other birds they grow up with. They form a bond that continues even if they are moved to a new home or another coop. If two birds that have grown up together are added to a new flock they will stay close together and will be much happier. They usually live peacefully with the flock but will always prefer to interact with each other. If one chicken is added to a new flock she will always be an outsider. Because of this we recommend adding two birds from the same family unit if possible. However if you only need one pullet you can purchase just one.
Introducing new birds to an existing flock. The best way to introduce new birds it to add them to the coop after dark. Tuck them in to the area where everyone sleeps. They do not need to be put up on the roosting bar. 70% of the time they wake up and think they have been living together for a long time. It is important to check in first thing in the morning in case you find your flock is in the 30% that doesn’t automatically integrate. If there is going to be a problem this is usually when it happens. If there is trouble brewing this is the time to give them lots of treats, such as our scratch, to keep them focused on food instead of picking on each other. Only separate them if the birds are drawing blood or someone is pinned down in a corner.
New birds in a new coop. When you bring home your first group of chickens you will need to train them. How do they know where they are supposed to sleep? You will need to force them into the sleeping area of your coop at dusk and shut them in. You will only have to do this a couple of nights and after they will go in willingly by themselves. If they do not get up on the roosting bar pick up one of them and hold it so it can wrap its toes around the bar. Do this a few times and they will get the idea.
You can also train them to come when you call. Take some of our Non-GMO scratch and sprinkle it on the ground while saying a command word, such as: “Chick, Chick, Chick” Every time you offer them some scratch you should say the command word. In just a few days they will come running to your command word. You can also use meal worms but that is a much more expensive treat.