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).