We are new to the world of chickens here on our small acreage in Prince Edward Island. We are also new to living in the country. Basically, we are on a giant learning curve as we try to transition into a more self sufficient life and escape the rat race. We have 2 cats, a cockatiel, a goldfish and now....a chicken, who just arrived 4 days ago. She is an adult Rhode Island Red who has already graced us with 4 fresh eggs. What a gal! There is a story to tell before I get to my question.
We started to build the coop this summer. It's not entirely complete but complete enough to accommodate our little gal. If the winter leaves us for good we can finish the darn thing and build a run to go with it. And that was when we were SUPPOSED to get our 5 chickens from a flock of 10. The flock has been together a couple of years but this winter some of the hens started bullying this sweet little lady pecking all the feathers off her neck and not making it easy for her to get to the food. She started spending a lot of time on the perch to keep out of their way and was losing weight. So we were asked if we would take her ahead of schedule to help her out. And here she is. The first couple of days were traumatic to the say the least. For both of us! But she is settling in now. Feathers are growing in and she is eating like a little piggy which is good, because she is a little lean. The other 4 will come over when everything is complete.
And here comes the question. We have been wondering about the introduction of 4 of her previous flock down the road (probably in a couple of months). We have seen all sorts of threads and stories regarding a sick or injured bird being reintroduced to the flock and the flock picking on them again. A friend of a friend even had birds killed by the flock. However, this situation is a bit reversed where the flock is being reintroduced to the previously injured bird in a new home, where the injured bird has already been living. Does anyone have any ideas what we can expect? How best should we make this introduction when the time comes? By then she should have gained her weight back but she will have been used to having the coop all to herself and enjoyed the luxury of being a little spoiled. Her coop mates will no doubt remember her but I suppose the pecking order will be different? and they will be busy getting used to new surroundings so assume they won't bother her but maybe she'll be the bully then? So if anyone has any pearls of wisdom they can share with us, it would be much appreciated :)