Adopted a single hen who will not integrate. Will she integrate with chicks?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by nab58, Nov 3, 2014.

  1. nab58

    nab58 Songster

    Mar 28, 2013
    So we did a stupid thing and adopted a single hen after loosing one of ours to a fox. The guy we got her from said she got picked on in his flock.
    She seems to be terrified of other chickens. She throws a fit when she's exposed to other chickens which causes them to go after her.
    I currently have her separated by fence next to the others....she's been there for a few weeks. She went through a molt when we first got her while in quarantine and had just started growing back her feathers when we tried integrating her by putting her in the big chickens coop after dark. She had all her pretty tail pulled out and bloodied by the other meanies. We've also tried letting the biggies out to free range and then opening her cage in hope she'd integrate out in the yard....she just stayed in her coop and then freaked out when the biggies came in.

    My question is.....if I hatch some eggs, would she have a better chance of integrating with smaller pullets than the biggies? I could then integrate the group of pullets along with her into the bigger group.
    Does that sound like it may work?

    She's a 1 1/2 year old buff brahma.
  2. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    No, I don't think chicks are the answer, she is likely to be very aggressive toward them.

    The best solution is to put a middle of the pecking order chicken in with her. Don't pick the weakest, as they tend to be the most tough on a new comer, but a middle chicken.

    Let them hang together for a couple of weeks, and then introduce the pair. That might go better.
  3. Spangled

    Spangled Songster

    Jan 12, 2012
    Serenity Valley
    I know this is a long shot, but ...

    If you could get the new hen and one other hen in the main coop alone, that would be great.

    The new hen would get used to the main coop and how to get around in it ... you know, all the ins and outs of where to lay and where to sleep, etc. This would give the new hen a "home court" advantage, so to speak. After a week or so, a third hen could be introduced to the main coop. And then maybe two more hens could be introduced after another week. I think you see where I'm going with this. There would end up being a whole new pecking order, with a few hens going back to their original positions, but the new hen would have a much better chance at integration. If there were any hiccups along the way, any aggressive hen could be switched out for another week if she's a problem.

    I do understand the logistics of this may not be impossible because you basically need two pens. However, for me, it's been the easiest way for dealing with the situation you find yourself in.
  4. nab58

    nab58 Songster

    Mar 28, 2013
    Thanks for the ideas. I don't have room to move the entire flock out but can put one in with her.

    We'll try that and let you know how it goes.

    With cold weather coming, she can't stay by herself for much longer. Maybe if she makes a Buddy, she'll have someone to show her the ropes. She's just not getting it by herself.

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