Adding another chicken?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Kubotabear, Oct 18, 2019.

  1. Kubotabear

    Kubotabear Chirping

    May 4, 2019
    Our neighbors have a flock of around 24 chickens. They have one girl who has almost been pecked to death. My friend separated her and let her heal completely, no scabs or visible sores, but still needs a few tail feathers. She tried to put her back with the flock but they immediately went after her again.

    She asked me if I would take her to see if she'll fair better with mine. I have 4 girls and 1 roo. I'm not sure of her breed but she is a little older than mine and about the same size.

    Is this something I should agree to? I have no problem taking on another chicken, I just wondered if this little girl's goose is cooked no matter where she ends up. Is there a special way I should introduce her, or just put her in and watch carefully?
    ValerieJ likes this.
  2. ValerieJ

    ValerieJ Crossing the Road

    Jul 24, 2016
    Washington State
    How long was she in quarantine? Are you sure there are no health issues going on with her? Does she have mites? I would take her in, but unless I already knew the health of the bird, I would go through a quarantine period, just to be sure your flock is not exposed to something. Then put her in a look don't touch situation for a week or two before integration. Let them get used to each other through a fence. Even then you need to watch carefully the first couple days. It's hard to introduce just one chicken to the flock.
    Ted_Harrell likes this.
  3. Ted_Harrell

    Ted_Harrell Songster

    Sep 23, 2019
    Pembroke North Carolina
    Well said...
    ValerieJ likes this.
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    I personally would not. I try to solve for the overall benefit of the flock, not any one chicken. This has too much risk for me.

    I don't know why she is being picked on. Sometimes for no apparent reason one chicken takes an intense dislike to another and tries to kill it. When one is weakened or injured others can attack, sort of like a mob. It is possible one instigates it and others join in.

    It is also possible there is something wrong with her, some injury or disease that the others can detect. It is not unusual for other chickens to try to rid the flock of a weak chicken. If they are sick they can infect others. If they are sick, injured, or partially disabled they can attract predators. It is of benefit to the flock to rid itself of defective chickens. That's where my main concern is coming from.

    It is not unusual for a flock to have flock immunities. Coccidiosis is a good example but there are plenty of other possibilities. A good quarantine, which is hard to do, works really well against diseases that the the chicken has recently been exposed to, but is pretty worthless against these flock immunities. They are immune to it so they wan't show symptoms, although they can be a carrier. You can do a quarantine but I would not put a lot of faith in it.

    She may make a great addition to your flock, I really don't know what is going on. But I'm not going to put the rest of my flock at risk by bringing in a weak and possibly sick chicken, even with quarantine.
    ValerieJ likes this.
  5. Kubotabear

    Kubotabear Chirping

    May 4, 2019
    All very good points. It didn't occur to me she might be ill. My thought was she had been injured by the rooster and the others went at her because of the open wound. But that may not be the case.

    I also don't have a very good setup to keep her separated, especially in the coop at night. I have a quarantine pen I set up in my garage when I have a need to separate one of mine, but that won't really work for this one. My other chickens still wouldn't be around her.

    I guess I should pass on this one.

    rosemarythyme, Acre4Me and ValerieJ like this.
  6. Acre4Me

    Acre4Me Crowing

    Nov 12, 2017
    Western Ohio
    Tell your neighbor to put odd chicken out into separate pen with one other chicken in flock, let them become friends. After a few days add another one, let them bond-become friends. Then reintroduce to main flock all of them together. Perhaps removing the instigator too. Introducing multiple birds is easier than just one.
  7. kellyhubb

    kellyhubb Songster

    Jun 8, 2013
    Greenville, SC
    Kubotabear likes this.

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