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trying to reintegrate a chicken

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
So after a protracted illness (almost gave up) and living in a cage in the laundry room for the past three weeks, my runtiest chicken is healthy and ready to go back outside to the coop. I'm not sure how to reintegrate her! I've let all four have supervised "play-dates" out in the yard, but they are totally bullying her. There was already a nasty pecking incident a couple months ago, so I'm too afraid to just put her in the coop/run with the others. I can't have her living in a cage in the basement forever! Any suggestions?
post #2 of 5
They have to re-establish pecking order there is no way around a little bullying of the re-introduced one while they re-establish order...

I generally wait until the lights are out and they are all at roost, then I sneak the new bird into the coop and put it on a roost... Come morning they are curious but I have never experience anything beyond normal pecking order aggression...
post #3 of 5

Put the cage out in the run for a few days and let them see each other for a while before physical contact.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MeepBeep View Post

They have to re-establish pecking order there is no way around a little bullying of the re-introduced one while they re-establish order...

I generally wait until the lights are out and they are all at roost, then I sneak the new bird into the coop and put it on a roost... Come morning they are curious but I have never experience anything beyond normal pecking order aggression...

I'm curious @MeepBeep, how large is your flock?

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 

So, they seemed to not be doing more than fronting at her when they were all out foraging together, with the occasional peck on the back, so I took a chance and put them all away together. She is being isolated a bit (she was the last in to roost by a lot) and I'm not sure they are letting her at the food and water, but she isn't being attacked. I made sure she got some time to herself with the food and water today when they were in the yard. I think they are slowly warming back up to her.

 

On a related note, she now thinks she is a house chicken and that I am her flock. She follows me around outside, hops into my lap, and at one point yesterday, flew across the yard and perched on the top of my head! Luckily she is a very small and light chicken. :D

 

Thanks for your ideas.

post #5 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by aart View Post

I'm curious @MeepBeep
, how large is your flock?

I don't keep an exact running count, but at any given time generally about 70-100 birds currently, mixed peafowl, guinea fowl, standard and bantam chickens... I have done the same integration method even when I only had a few birds and never had issues...
Edited by MeepBeep - 9/28/15 at 4:13pm
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