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New Hen... Introduce? Quarantine? Isolate?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
My flock of 4 girls is about 15 months old that I raised as chicks, that's pretty much all my experience with chickens. I love my girls, spent a lot of time taming them and handling them, so they're pretty mild mannered.

I have unexpectedly adopted/inherited a 10 month old barred rock. She's never been properly handled and skittish. I dunno what should be the proper procedures.

I have an x-pen set up next to my run so I can introduce her to the flock, but decided to take her in the house and hold her a bit.

I'm currently sitting in the bathtub with her as I write this. Should I keep her in the house for a few days before putting her in the pen (the separate one next to the run)? Or should I put her in the pen so she can see other hens?

While my ultimate goal is to introduce her... I have to honestly say... I'm more concerned about my old flock dynamics getting thrown out of balance though...
post #2 of 9

Those are good questions to ask. Introductions can be difficult and take a few days to a few weeks. I would suggest keeping her indoors a few days, just to make sure she isn't sick with anything (most people suggest longer, but keeping a hen indoors for more then a few days is asking for a mess).

Introduce her slowly, through wire over 5 or so days and then let them forage together where there is space to walk away from one another. Distract them with treats. Place them together at night after they get to know one another and hopefully the others will have excepted her. Introducing a lone hen can be difficult, especially if she is younger. With time, however, the others may learn to like her.

 

I hope this helps answer some of your questions. Best of luck! :)

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
As a follow up, I'm being hyper sensitive right now... I dusted the new one with DE... She's let out a few sneezes... But hoping it's the DE and not something contagious? My other hens have never sneezed. I wished I paid more attention before dusting her
post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Goldiefishie View Post

As a follow up, I'm being hyper sensitive right now... I dusted the new one with DE... She's let out a few sneezes... But hoping it's the DE and not something contagious? My other hens have never sneezed. I wished I paid more attention before dusting her

 

My chickens sneeze quite regularly so it is likely the dust. I know my chickens sneeze a lot after I feed them chicken food that had a lost of dust or powder in it. It sounds really funny. :)

post #5 of 9
I have never been able to try it, but they say to introduce newcomers to the lowest in the peck order. I didn't have any trouble just letting my fall chicks roam, because the top roo was perfectly OK with them. So if you think you can fend for herself, which at 10 months she should, she'll be alright.

And yes, the sneezing is normal. My greedy chickens sneeze all the time while rapidly eating!

This post was made by...
The Purple Chicken
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This post was made by...
The Purple Chicken
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post #6 of 9

I recently introduced a rescued hen into my flock. http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1074403/success-story-integrating-a-single-hen-into-a-flock#post_16414146  It's been a bit over a month now, and she's doing splendidly.

 

It's not an easy process, by any means, but with patience, she will be accepted.

 

If you're concerned she may have parasites, best to dust her with a poultry dust. DE is merely a preventative, not a cure. Same goes for worms. That wouldn't hurt, either, to make sure she doesn't pass something onto the rest of the flock.

post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Goldiefishie View Post

My flock of 4 girls is about 15 months old that I raised as chicks, that's pretty much all my experience with chickens. I love my girls, spent a lot of time taming them and handling them, so they're pretty mild mannered.

I have unexpectedly adopted/inherited a 10 month old barred rock. She's never been properly handled and skittish. I dunno what should be the proper procedures.

I have an x-pen set up next to my run so I can introduce her to the flock, but decided to take her in the house and hold her a bit.

I'm currently sitting in the bathtub with her as I write this. Should I keep her in the house for a few days before putting her in the pen (the separate one next to the run)? Or should I put her in the pen so she can see other hens?

While my ultimate goal is to introduce her... I have to honestly say... I'm more concerned about my old flock dynamics getting thrown out of balance though...

I agree with what the others have said, and do that if you cannot quarantine properly, but I thought i'd share what happened to me when I didn't quarantine.


I rescued 2 seemingly healthy roosters, and put them in with my flock (seperated, of course) that same day, no quarantine. Several weeks later, (2-3) I noticed some increased sneezing and watery discharge from some hens and those 2 roosters. I was brand new to chickens, so I left it, assuming it would get better on its own.

Fast forward a few months, and I see roundworms in my chicken's poo! I treated them all, got rid of the worms, and relaxed. By then I knew it was the roosters that had brought it in. No new birds other than them had come in.
THEN, one day I was looking at one of my birds, doing a routine check..... And I found lice!
I did reaserch, found a good dust product, (permectrin) and dusted. Got rid of them with first dusting, re dusted in 2 weeks. They came back again after 1 month. As of now, I am still hoping there is nothing else they brought in that has not reared its head yet... fl.gif
I know now for me, quarantine is neccecary. Too many risks.

Just my 2 ¢.

If you do a proper check, and do preventatives, you should be fine.... Just something to think about.
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Day 3... The new pullet is still very skittish and not trusting. She's still sneezing, but I wonder if it's associated with stress. She doesn't do it when I sit with her, but does it when I handle her. I tried putting her in the coop at night in hopes that she would at least make an effort.... Instead she was frantically clawing the door, slamming into the side trying to escape (even though there was no threat from my flock, they just stayed on their roosting bar and watched the commotion). I wasn't sure if I should leave her in until she calms down, or "rescue" her in hopes of trying another day.

I really didn't want her hitting herself, so I took her out and she's in her own pen in the garage for another night....
post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Goldiefishie View Post

Day 3... The new pullet is still very skittish and not trusting. She's still sneezing, but I wonder if it's associated with stress. She doesn't do it when I sit with her, but does it when I handle her. I tried putting her in the coop at night in hopes that she would at least make an effort.... Instead she was frantically clawing the door, slamming into the side trying to escape (even though there was no threat from my flock, they just stayed on their roosting bar and watched the commotion). I wasn't sure if I should leave her in until she calms down, or "rescue" her in hopes of trying another day.

I really didn't want her hitting herself, so I took her out and she's in her own pen in the garage for another night....

 

It will take a little while so take things slowly. Being patient can be hard, but it will work out for the best in the end.

 

I hope she calms down soon. Best of luck! :)

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