Adding a slightly older pullet to my small flock- need advice :-)

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by janetdieter, Apr 7, 2018.

  1. janetdieter

    janetdieter Chirping

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    Hi all!

    The end of February I got 6 (all different breeds) pullets at 4-6 weeks old. Last week I lost one of them.

    I want to "replace" her. In two weeks I will be getting a slightly older pullet (she will be a couple weeks older than my flock). She is going to look like the chicken I lost (a Pearl White Leghorn).

    Will my current chickens know the difference? Or will they think it is her? It will be about 4 weeks between when I pulled the original chick out to try to save her and the new chick arrives.

    And if not, could I get some advice on adding her? My coop isn't huge, and the weather is still cool here in Northern Illinois. I have wire dog cages, and I have an 8 foot enclosed run that adds to my coop.

    Can I have her in the dog cage during the day but in the hen house for warmth and protection at night? Or do I bring her in the house at night?

    Any advice would be appreciated!!
     
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

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    Chickens would not even welcome the original leghorn back into the flock after a few weeks away. Is your coop and run big enough for integration? The minimum space recommended for a stable flock is 4 s.f. in coop and 10 s.f. in run per bird. To integrate, have different ages, or have a rooster requires even more space to do so safely. IMO, you should not EVER add a single female bird to an existing flock. If you are going to add one, you should add at least 2, and then not do so, unless you can provide lots of extra room, out of sight but not dead end spaces, multiple feed and water stations.
     
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  3. janetdieter

    janetdieter Chirping

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    Thank you for the information, but I am looking for help on how to add a single bird. I understand that it may not be advisable, and will be sure I have hiding places and extra feed/water stations. But I know it has been done and am hoping for some assistance from someone who has done this.
     
  4. SueT

    SueT Free Ranging

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    Your chickens will absolutely know the difference and they won't be kind to the 'intruder.' The advice in post #2 is well worth heeding.
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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  6. janetdieter

    janetdieter Chirping

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    I had hoped for more assistance from experienced owners. Thank you aart for the link. It helps.
     
  7. Justso

    Justso Songster

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    Hi, I did this last year when all but one of my new pullets were killed by a raccoon, and will do it again this year when I acquired a year-old hen. As with last year, this year's hen will be lowest on the pecking order. I have had her separated within the run in full view, with her own A frame hut. Probably in the next few days I'll start putting her in the hen house at night, but separating during the day since I can't supervise. Eventually you blend them all, and they go through a tough time with the flock, but it has to be done. Last year's hen still gets reminded of her low position.
    And BTW come join us on the Illinois thread, I'm in DuPage county!
     
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  8. janetdieter

    janetdieter Chirping

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    Justso
    Thank you so much!!!
    I knew it had to be possible!! I will head over to the Illinois thread and continue this conversation....
    BTW - "Minnie Pearl" arrived today!
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    It's possible, but most folks avoid it, why you won't get many responses.
    Azygous is the first that comes to mind...but there another, hmmm...will try to find it.
     
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  10. janetdieter

    janetdieter Chirping

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    Follow up on the integration!! Our new chicken arrived last Wednesday. She is about 4-5 weeks older than our current flock (as a matter of fact, she laid an egg today!!) So for 3 days we had her in the run extension during the day blocked away from the others, and in the main coop at night for safety while the others were in the hen house. Yesterday morning we just opened the door to the run extension and waited for them to figure it out. New chicken Minnie Pearl pecked everyone if they ran by her, but otherwise all is well!! I was afraid my 5 would gang up on her, but they are still young and accept her as the leader. I'm so happy!!! I have three feed/water stations. Minnie does not chase them away from any food - just gives them a peck if they run by her.
     
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