Adding a New Chicken to Flock

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Lunachick, Jan 2, 2008.

  1. Lunachick

    Lunachick Chicken Slave

    Mar 19, 2007
    Brick, NJ
    I have a rescue chicken that's in a seperate run I built for her. She's lonely. It's going to be 15 degrees tonight. I know she's hardy, but I was thinking of sneaking her in to the other coop with my two other hens tonight while she is roosting. Is this the way to go about it?

    Would the others wake up in the a.m and think an alien chicken ship landed during the night and freak out with her there?

    Should I just do it and see what happens, I'm kind of impatient about this, because this new bird needs to be initiated into the flock.

    Anyone with this kind of experience?

    P.S. The run I have with my two other hens is very small, about 4.5 feet by 3.5 feet and additional room of 3.5 feet by 2 in the coop. Henny Penny's temporary run is about the same size.
     
  2. thebifman

    thebifman Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 5, 2007
    Staten Island, NY
    What I did, and it seemed to work, was to hang a piece of corn-on-the-cob just slightly out their reach. The hens would have to work hard at getting the corn. I then put the new girl in the run while they all were jumping and pecking at the corn. By time the corn was gone they didn't seem to notice the new room mate! I added a new piece of corn for about 3 days just to be safe. You can use the frozen type of corn-on-the-cob if fresh is not available. Best of luck!!!
     
  3. Charlie Chicken

    Charlie Chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 24, 2007
    Phippsburg, ME
    You could try introducing the new hen at night like you suggest. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. When they wake up in the morning they will decide what they want to do about the new intruder. You won't be fooling anyone, they will know there is a new hen in the pen. It will depend on how aggressive the current residents are toward newcomers weather or not she is accepted. The reaction could range anywhere from no problem at all to outright bullying by the head chicken. It always helps to have a large pen when introducing newcomers to a flock but you don't have that luxury.

    You could give it a try and watch them to see if the new "pecking order" gets out of control.
     
  4. Lunachick

    Lunachick Chicken Slave

    Mar 19, 2007
    Brick, NJ
    Thanks for the reply Charlie and bif. I didn't do anything last night. They are still seperated. It got nasty cold last night. But they were all fine. This weekend is going to be milder, so I think I'll move the small hutch with the original hens around to face the one I built for the newcomer and wire fence it together so each will have a seperate place but can still be together if they want.

    And the newcomer loves corn, so I'll try that too!

    Thank you for the advice. [​IMG]
     
  5. Charlie Chicken

    Charlie Chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 24, 2007
    Phippsburg, ME
    Hey, I like that plan! Now you're starting to think like a chicken. Joining the two pens together should improve things considerably. That way everyone will still have a place they can consider their home and along with giving them some other things to think about like the new corn you might have a better chance of pulling this off.
     

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