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Adding a new chicken--

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

So last month, one of my six hens passed away (I think she had sour crop) and so this past weekend I got a new one.  The established flock are about a year old, the new hen is also about a year old.  I've been googling and reading other posts here on this topic but I feel like I need reassurance in my own thread here...!

 

We are quarantining as best we can, at first we had April in a 3 X 4 chicken wire pen in the garage, then today we put her pen outside (it has no bottom so she could peck at the grass).  I think she was much happier outside, even though the current (temporary) pen is too small-- my husband is building a larger tractor this weekend for her, we figured that the 3 X 4 would be okay for a week anyway.  

 

This afternoon I got the bright idea that April should really stretch her legs and get a little exercise, so I took the lid off the pen and let her hop out, wander around the backyard.  Right away, she was curious to see the chicken run and visit the other chickens (we shooed her away because of the quarantine thing).  She eventually hopped back into her little pen all on her own, but then ten minutes later she looked like a prisoner, pacing back and forth and frantic to get out.  I let her have another wander around the yard and this time she was even more determined to visit the other chickens.  I had to pick her up and put her back in the pen.  I feel so badly for her!  I think she's lonely.  We got her from a woman who kept her in a big loud barn full of chickens and roosters, so our silent garage and very quiet backyard must feel like sensory deprivation or something.

 

Does anyone have any ideas about what might calm her or make her feel better?  I hate that she's so stressed out.  My husband insists it was a terrible mistake for me to let her out in the first place, but I just felt like it was the humane thing to do (I'll do it again tomorrow !!).  We cannot free range our chickens, it's against local ordinances, so this is not something that will ever happen once we can confine her in the run with the others.  She is a barnevelder... is that breed particularly unhappy in confinement?  Like I said, it's only temporary and once she's in the run, she will have space to just around and perch...

 

Elizabeth

post #2 of 3
I would ask @azygous, they have successfully integrated a single hen, I believe he? Sorry if I'm wrong, has written an article about it.
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
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Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
post #3 of 3

3x4 is fine space for a single bird....she's pacing because she's nervous in a new place so different from the old.

She'll get used to being in the pen, give it time and be calm yourself to help her.

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/introducing-a-single-hen-to-an-existing-flock

 

I think your quarantine might be moot at this point.....but letting her out again is not a good idea.

BYC Medical Quarantine Article

Poultry Biosecurity

BYC 'medical quarantine' search

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
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