I was wondering about this- I have 2 hens and want to get 1 more year old hen. What's the best way to introduce them? Do I just add the new one, or keep them seperate for a while, where they can see each other, or? My coop can't really be "divided", but we do have a free range area, seperate from the garden fenced area. But at night we only have 1 area- in the coop. Ideas???
Adding New Hen to Existing Hens?
Well, we bought a 2 year old farm hen, a Barred Rock. Tried introducing them for a couple of hours, then when all 3 were in the coop, she attacked them. SO, now she's in her own adjoining mini condo, waiting for her disposition to improve Hopefully this won't take too long....
I usually keep em separate for a while in a separate pen where they can see each other. As soon as they seem to mellow out and stop clucking irritably I usually introduce. I temporarily add an extra feeder and waterer in the corner because she may need it, the original hens may run her off when she uses community feeders. If you throw feed then throw some in whatever corner the new one hides in. They will eventually tolerate the new addition. Now she may have some troubles but its not all bad, she will just have to figure out where she's at in the pecking order. Just make sure its not excessive, if it is then separate the offender not the new hen.
I made a simple pen out of lathing wire for stucco, got it at home depot, (cheaper and tougher than chicken wire) and cut out a 6' piece. I rolled it into a round pen and used fence clips for chain link to attach ends. Just cut out another piece for top. I ran a broom stick through it for roost, drilled holes in the ends and zip tied it to the cage for stability. I use a disc snow sled for a roof and I made a small nest box to go inside. I also use a 1 gallon waterer and I throw feed them in this pen. It keeps them more active. I also use old tent stakes to keep it safely on the ground. I keep 3 of these for various reasons; they're great for either hospital, segregation, introductory, or observation pens.
Thanks, sounds like what we did. We had some extra wire fencing, created a triangular pen next to the coop, put some tarp over it, put in food, water, and a temp. nesting box. She seems calmer this afternoon. Big storm coming, and I wish I could put her in the coop, but she should be pretty dry... The other 2 ignored her when I let them out...
Well, here's my story, so far- "Henny" has been in her own mini-coop next to the big one. Last 3 days I released her into the yard with the other 2, with a few minor squabbles, each day less. Atfer her bath today (really stunk) I let her wander into the coop with the other 2, one was laying upstairs. They ate some seed I sped thru the coop, everything ok. After 10 minutes Henny was chasing the other 2, and had poor Rosie pinned into a corner. I opend the door and let her out. Henny is back in detention for the rest of today. Hopefully her agression will pass over time preferably sooner. Picture of her minicoop-
Well afer coming home yesterday, and finding dried blood on poor Rosie's comb, I found a home for Henny this morning. Came home this afternoon and even more blood on Rosie's head, poor thing. I told Henny, "nice knowing ya, but you're gone." I found a home for her on a mini-farm, she should be happy... I'm getting 2 babies tomorrow!