Adding one new hen

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by DeniceP, Jan 26, 2015.

  1. DeniceP

    DeniceP Out Of The Brooder

    16
    0
    24
    Jan 19, 2015
    I have four three-month old chickens that I got at a week old and that were supposed to all be hens. It turns out two are roosters. Someone gave me a hen from the same batch of chicks and I tried to introduce her last night. This morning, the two roosters were trying to kill her. I found a home for the roosters, luckily, and I was going to wait a few days to try to introduce the new hen to the other two hens. Any advice? Should I keep the new hen in my brooder box in the run for a while? I hate for her to be all alone again tonight since the roosters are leaving in the morning but better lonely than dead. It was so traumatic!
     
  2. BackyardDove

    BackyardDove Chillin' With My Peeps

    235
    9
    74
    Oct 8, 2014
    Central Texas
    I am certainly not an expert here, but I have owned different kinds of birds over the past several years and have come across issues like this in the past.

    I'm not sure how big your hen is in comparison to the rest of your chickens, but when I get a new chicken I always wait until it is almost adult sized. That way if the rest of the flock doesn't like the newcomer, she can at least fight for herself. What I do when introducing a new bird is I put the bird in a cage and leave the cage next to the area with the rest of the birds for at least a few days. This way the rest of the birds will at least know who the new bird is an will be a bit nicer to her. My experience has been that the rest of the flock will be mean to any new chickens for a couple months, even if the new chickens have lived in an area next to them for several months, though I'm sure it helps to get the chickens acquainted first. As long as she has plenty of room to get away from the rest of the flock and is big enough to fend for herself, she should be fine. If your other hens are standard size and the new hen is a bantam, I would be much more cautious with introducing them.
     
  3. DeniceP

    DeniceP Out Of The Brooder

    16
    0
    24
    Jan 19, 2015
    She's exactly the same age but slightly smaller because she's an Ameracauna and the other two are a Marans and a Buff. I'm going to take the roos out this morning and put her next to the run. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Thanks!
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    36,798
    10,595
    686
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Single chicken integrations are the hardest....they need to reside next to each other separated by wire for a few weeks.

    Here's some notes I've taken on integration that I found to be very helpful.
    See if any of them, or the links provided, might offer some tips that will assist you in your situation:


    Integration of new chickens to flock.


    Consider medical quarantine:
    BYC Medical Quarantine Article
    Poultry Biosecurity
    BYC 'medical quarantine' search

    Confine new birds within sight but physically segregated from older/existing birds for several weeks, so they can see and get used to each other but not physically interact. Integrating new birds of equal size works best.

    For smaller chicks I used a large wire dog crate right in the coop for the smallers. I removed the crate door and put up a piece of wire fencing over the opening and bent up one corner just enough for the smallers to fit thru but the biggers could not. Feed and water inside the crate for the smallers. Make sure the smallers know how to get in and out of the crate opening before exposing them to the olders. this worked out great for me, by the time the crate was too small for the them to roost in there(about 3 weeks), they had pretty much integrated themselves to the olders.

    If you have too many smallers to fit in a crate you can partition off part of the coop with a wire wall and make the same openings for smallers escape.


    The more space, the better. Birds will peck to establish dominance, the pecked bird needs space to get away. As long as there's no blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down, let them work it out. Every time you interfere or remove new birds, they'll have to start the pecking order thing all over again.

    Multiple feed/water stations. Dominance issues are most often carried out over sustenance, more stations lessens the frequency of that issue.

    Places for the new birds to hide out of line of sight and/or up and away from any bully birds.

    Read up on integration..... BYC advanced search>titles only>integration
    This is good place to start reading:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/adding-to-your-flock
     
  5. BackyardDove

    BackyardDove Chillin' With My Peeps

    235
    9
    74
    Oct 8, 2014
    Central Texas
    So then yes, since aart repeated everything I said I assume what I suggested is what you're suppose to do. No problem and I hope it works out for you!
     
  6. katsdar

    katsdar Overrun With Chickens

    6,845
    953
    341
    Jul 21, 2012
    Armuchee, Georgia
    also if you put her in at night they seem not to notice as much when they wake up together
     
  7. DeniceP

    DeniceP Out Of The Brooder

    16
    0
    24
    Jan 19, 2015
    I put her in my brooder box (basically a cage) inside the pen for four days. Yesterday morning, I let her out. What used to be my most docile hen started picking on her and the other followed. My solution was to put the more aggressive of the two in the cage for the day so at least it was one on one. Worked! I'm so relieved!
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    36,798
    10,595
    686
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    [​IMG] Good thinking!.....Have you let the meanie back out yet , how did it go? Keep Juggling, Best of CLuck to yas!
     
  9. DeniceP

    DeniceP Out Of The Brooder

    16
    0
    24
    Jan 19, 2015
    Yes. They're still not buddies, but at least the new girl isn't getting hurt.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by