Adding pullet with depressed Adult hen

Heluhelu

In the Brooder
9 Years
Jun 7, 2010
12
0
22
I recently bought 3 young hens. Not too sure how old, but had just started laying- then tragedy struck. A dog attacked and we lost two of the three chickens. The remaining chicken was okay, but depressed. Wouldn't eat, wouldn't drink, wouldn't leave the coop, and stopped laying.

A friend gave us a younger chicken (about 8 weeks old). We have had the two of them separated but close enough to see and touch each other for about 5 days now. We have had some supervised meet and greets with the two of them together. The older hen has lightly pecked at the young pullet and halfheartedly chased her, but for the most part kind of ignores her. When do you think it would be okay to put them in the same coop together? I really don't want to end up with another dead chicken.

The good news is- ever since we got the young pullet our hen has been eating, drinking, and a lot more active. She hasn't started laying again, but no longer seems as depressed.

Any advice would be great!
 

CC Lefty

In the Brooder
10 Years
Aug 15, 2009
41
1
34
San Joaquin Valley, CA
Sound like you're doing the right thing. You might try extending the meet and greet for longer intervals and keep relatively close just to make sure all is okay. I've never had any real "introduction" issues after a week or so of close quarters. Good luck.
 

schellie69

Songster
10 Years
Oct 8, 2009
4,077
15
211
Kansas
when you do put in the younger pullet the hen will peck at her just to establish pecking order since there are only 2 this should not be that bad, but chickens are flock animals it might be a good idea to look into getting a few more pullets just to have more of a flock but you should be okay introducing her to the older hen you can either let them out to free range together then just put them in the pen/coop that night or you can place the pullet into the hen's coop in the evening when she is asleep I have seen people do this both ways when we introduced our pullets to the hens we kept them in the same pen fashioned a smaller pen for the babies then let them free range during the day together then about a week or so later just undid the smaller pen and allowed the babies to be in the pen with the big girls they are now sleeping in the coop and everything good luck.
 

Heluhelu

In the Brooder
9 Years
Jun 7, 2010
12
0
22
Thank you so much. We did a much longer meet and greet semi-unsupervised (hen and pullet couldn't see me) yesterday. There was a little bit of pecking, but nothing too bad. I think I am going to do this for a couple more days then add them both to a different coop in the evening.
 

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