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New member from Fenton, MO.

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Hi everyone, I have been reading the forums for months as I took over the care of a neighbors (well-meaning) impulse easter buy from 2015. You all rock, I have learned so much from everyone! My 2 ladies from the neighbor have been my little love bugs and I take every little change in behavior serious and always look up new info here.

 

I do however have my own little situation at hand that looking through forums has helped get some ideas, but I could use any insight from those that find this post. My buff Brahma  was lost right before easter with what appeared to be Merak's, my jersey giant has no symptoms but as we all know so is probably a carrier now. There was a 3rd hen (delaware) that too had shown merak's symptoms (before I knew what it was) at just a few months old that had to be put down before I took over care. I had also just bought 2 chicks before it became obvious that my girl was sick, so I have come to terms with the fact that they too may get sick someday, and have held up plans for anymore chicks until I can be sure of what my Francesca passed from.

 

The jersey and the brahma were best friends, and always cried when one or the other was out of sight, and my dear girl has been a moody mess since. She has been getting increasingly mean to every living creature except me. She is a daily layer, and only recently has she had any odd eggs (one soft shell after a nasty storm spooked her, and one itsy bitsy fairy egg smaller than a penny). On top of the separation anxiety, she has been broody, complete with puffing out and plucking chest feathers and giant poop. Now the chicks are getting bigger, and need to move out of the garage very soon. But my big ol' hen is not having it now that she has been alone for a few months. She charges them and immediately attacks. I have tried the cage method to give them some time near each other, but for hours the hen squawks and paces trying to find a way to get to them. I have no room for 2 separate areas for them. 

 

I am assuming the night introduction doesn't work when you only have one hen left. I cannot be there all day as I work graves, so playing referee is out of the question. The chicks are looking more like chickens yet their size is much smaller than the giant Albina has become. One is an australorp (Charlotte) and the other an araucana (Mister Whiskers), both incredibly sweet girls, and no where near as tough. 

 

I want this to be a safe transition. What in the world is a chicken mom to do when your hormonal teenager won't play nice with others? 

 

I look forward to replies. and I hope to share pretty funny stories soon ( there have been some classic things happen already with them all, that as a newer owner I get so tickled over).

post #2 of 6

Assuming you do not want your hen to hatch eggs, why not put her in the crate (type "broody buster" in the search box for further info) and put the chicks in the coop with her? After 4 days or so, your hen may begin to calm down and will have had some time to get used the chicks (though probably not sufficient time to get used to accept them completely).

 

I'd suggest only letting her out and mingle with the chicks when your are there to supervise.

 

Having multiple feeding stations, and a "panic room" (an area where the chicks can access, but not the hen) may help ease things.

 

If you post on the  "managing your flock" forum, you will hopefully get more responses on the subject (Azygous and Aart) are very knowledgeable members with this issue, and they usually help out.

 

All the best

CT

Nairobi, Kenya
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Nairobi, Kenya
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post #3 of 6
Welcome to Backyard chickens.

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post #4 of 6

Welcome to BYC :frow So sorry to hear about your losses! Introducing new chickens to the flock is often a bit of a drama and usually takes some time. There are some articles on the topic here:

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/adding-to-your-flock

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/introducing-new-chickens-using-the-see-but-don-t-touch-method

 

Best of luck!

 

“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.” 

 

~ Shel Silverstein
 

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“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.” 

 

~ Shel Silverstein
 

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post #5 of 6

Welcome to BYC! I'm glad you joined us! :)

I set fire to the rain! Watch it pour as I, touched your face. Well it burn while I cried, because I heard it screaming out your name. And I threw us into flames. I knew that was the last time, the last time...I set fire to the rain! -Adele

 

Look at my flock page! http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/bantamfan4lifes-flock

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I set fire to the rain! Watch it pour as I, touched your face. Well it burn while I cried, because I heard it screaming out your name. And I threw us into flames. I knew that was the last time, the last time...I set fire to the rain! -Adele

 

Look at my flock page! http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/bantamfan4lifes-flock

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post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thank you all!

 

No rooster, so nothing to hatch. A broody buster has been on my mind, but my only supplies on hand is a wire dog kennel, not much air circulation on the under side as recommended on most help posts. It worked fairly well at her peak of craziness. 

 

Supervised meets have happened and each time she has still managed to squeeze past me. I have had to get a little handsy on her to stop the assault (no worries I would never hurt my birds, just enough to say "HEY! I'm the top hen in this flock!"). She doesn't shoo easily with me, as I am with her most of the time I am awake and home.

 

The first time I had to get tough on Bina the chicks were so happy they jumped on my arms and perched, and gave soft nibbles to my cheeks. This was my first truly affectionate moment from the little ones, and I could tell Bina did not like me holding them (she has always been clingy to me). Ha, jealous girl! 

 

I can not help but think that if Franny was still with us this would have gone smoother. She was SOOOO docile and really kept the other one calm. They would lay together, even on Franny's last day when she was blind and completely unable to walk, eat or drink, they both laid an egg. I wish they made little chicken muzzles for times like this. Her old owner tried to say hi and was pecked so bad it drew blood. When she was younger she cracked her beak, and after it grew out it seemed much tougher.

 

I am going to move some stuff around today and try again.  

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