2/10 UPDATE on intro: THEY'RE FINALLY FRIENDS!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by pawsplus, Dec 23, 2008.

  1. pawsplus

    pawsplus Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So I have 2 hens, Clarice (very dominant, pushy, runs-the-world barred rock) and Olivia (perfectly happy to be second banana Buff Orp X). One of my clients (I am a barefoot trimmer for horses) has chickens and I asked her if I cd buy one from her b/c I worry that if something should, god forbid, happen to one of mine, the other one would be all alone.

    So I'm getting #3. My choices are:

    9 week old chick. They are feathered and are red sex-links and Ameracaunas (I cd choose). I love red hens so maybe . . . BUT is 9 weeks too young to have to deal w/ 2 new resident hens? I don't have a place to put her by herself -- she'd have to go right in w/ the Big Girls.

    OR

    Barred rock (1 year old). I would prefer one that looks different from my current hens, but if this is the better choice, that's o.k.

    What do you think? My feeling is that I need either an adult w/ a lower-on-the-totem-pole personality or a baby so that there is less risk of the new one and Clarice getting into it. Clarice just won't back down. She is TOUGH. It's best if the other chicken would be like Olivia and be happy being led rather than the leader.

    Thoughts? Thanks!!
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2009
  2. chookchick

    chookchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A 9 week old pullet is going to get the stuffing beat out of her by your other hens (both!). You should really get mature chickens, preferrably 2. They then need to go through quarantine, then be separated,but visible for at least 2 weeks. I am in the same situation (two lonely hens), but I think I will wait a while, due to the number of disease problems that people are having with introducing new chickens right now. New introductions are so stressful! And you cannot predict how the pecking order will shake out!
     
  3. pawsplus

    pawsplus Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I cannot do that. I have no other place to put them, so either the new hen goes right in w/ them or I can't do this at all. The person who has them has no sick chickens and hers are healthy. I only want one.

    So should I not do this at all?? When I introduced Olivia to Clarice I just put O in there and stood guard for a while. They worked it out pretty quickly. Can I not get 1 adult girl?
     
  4. pawsplus

    pawsplus Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I could put the new one in a dog crate inside the pen for a while. And I guess at night I could put the crate inside the coop. Would that help if I did that for a day or 2?
     
  5. beakkeeper

    beakkeeper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Just because the hens are healthy does not mean they aren't carrying something. If a flock had a disease a long time ago and "got over it" they could pass the virus on to another bird unnoticed. That bird could continue to carry it OR even worse could be susceptible to that disease and the flock could be wiped out. QUARANTINE QUARANTINE QUARANTINE!!! There are too many sad stories on the "emergencies" forum about one sick bird getting everyone else sick.

    I hope that you can get the 9 wk old Ameraucana. She should be quarantined for 3 weeks minimum, then should be in contact with other birds (thru chicken wire division) then assimilated

    Good luck!
     
  6. pawsplus

    pawsplus Chillin' With My Peeps

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    AGAIN: I have ONE chicken house and ONE run. I do not have a place to quarantine.

    So assuming I do not do that, how do I go about the intro? Would the dog crate work?
     
  7. chookchick

    chookchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you are willing to take the risk, you could portion off a bit of your run with chicken wire, and put the older hen(s) in that area, then load her back into the crate for the night in the coop. I did that for a while, and it was a pain, but the chickens learn the routine pretty quick. You were lucky with the first intro, so be prepared to separate. Some people just throw the bird into the coop in the middle of the night and have no issues!
     
  8. lauralou

    lauralou Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I also think you should quarantine before bringing in a new hen.

    But if you don't have a place to do that - well, here's another idea. Wait until spring and order a few day old chicks. Brood them in the house (FUN! CHICKS!) and then introduce them to your resident hens. No need to quarantine. Or, the quarantine time is the brooder time. However you want to think about it.

    If you do decide to go ahead and buy a chicken now, it would probably be better to get the older one. She would have a better chance of protecting herself from the other hens.

    Good Luck!
     
  9. pawsplus

    pawsplus Chillin' With My Peeps

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    UPDATE! She's HERE!

    First, re: the Q-tine issue -- I did some thinking about it and tried to figure out a way to q-tine the new one humanely. However, it is impossible/impractical in my situation -- I would be putting one chicken in solitary for weeks, which is cruel, and I simply do not have a safe place to do it, without building an entirely separate run/coop, which is pretty impractical since I don't plan to make a habit of this. [​IMG]

    So, I may be taking a risk, but it's a limited one, since I got her from a known source. There have been no new chickens, other than babies hatched out, at her place for over a year, and they are all healthy.

    So anyhoo. . . . Say hello to SVETLANA! I love that name and have been wanting to name someone Svetlana -- it wouldn't work for a dog b/c there is no good call name, but for a chicken, it works great! Svetlana is a red sex-link hen, about a year old.

    [​IMG]
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    [​IMG]

    I did the intro by leaving her in a big Vari-Kennel inside the coop for 24 hours. She was pretty calm about it, and Olivia and Clarice mostly ignored her. Then, last night, after the girls were up in their roosts, I let Svetlana out and removed the Vari-Kennel. I couldn't put her on a roost b/c they were on the lower ones and I was concerned about putting her up higher than Clarice (Clarice is usually up on the 3rd one up, with Olivia on #2 spot), so she spent the night on the floor. This a.m. I put out TONS of great treats (the great baked "pie" of oatmeal, scratch, BOSS, etc. I read about here, which they LOVE, collard greens, broccoli, etc.). By the time I left, Olivia and Clarice had gone outside to eat, and Svetlana was still in the coop. I took her some pie and greens. It seemed like a good sign that no one was beating up on anyone else -- hope that continues when Svetlana ventures out.

    Despite the stealth introduction, it was pretty clear that Clarice and Olivia DID know there was a new chicken. [​IMG] They were clucking and nattering about, yelling at me even though they had plenty of food. And Clarice kept crowing, which always makes me laugh. She's such a cross-dresser. [​IMG] Here they are, being ticked-off chickens (Clarice on L, Olivia on R):

    [​IMG]

    Hopefully they are working out the power structure and will be starting to get sorted out by this evening.
     
  10. beakkeeper

    beakkeeper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That is a funny pic! [​IMG]
     

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