Alone, or multiple introduction?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by melodysmommy, Feb 28, 2015.

  1. melodysmommy

    melodysmommy Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 9, 2014
    So, I've lost my flock. All but one. It sucks, but I'm not dwelling on it. I'm here because I'm worried about my last girl. We are planning on getting more chicks this sspring,but I'm worried about her being alone for so long. So my question is, what do you think would be more stressful, the next 10+ weeks all alone, or the multiple introductions of buying an adult hen to keep her company until the little ones are ready ti go out?
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Integration of new birds is usually problematic. Unless she shows signs of stress from her solitary existence, I would wait and introduce the new chicks to her once they are big enough. Might even introduce them using a fencing/barrier while they were still small.
     
  3. melodysmommy

    melodysmommy Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks. Ya, I plan on slow and cautious for the intros with the little ones anyway.
     
  4. Lady of McCamley

    Lady of McCamley Overrun With Chickens

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    Hmmmm.....It depends on the hen obviuosly, but I would be tempted to find her a friend.

    I would watch her to see if she is stressed, which hopefully she won't be, but I should think if she is all alone in the coop, she will get stressed. Most birds do not like being alone as they are flock animals.

    I do regular introductions of birds, and while it takes some integration, it is very do-able, especially if you let them get used to each other through wire fencing, then place on the roost at night. Always give plenty of "elbow room" and some hiding places so that the birds have a place to get away from each other as the pecking order settles. And be sure there are multiple places to get food and water so the competition isn't keen there.

    I would only introduce one other bird though, after isolating that bird for disease, and choose something that would be a good match for your hen's temperament. Amazingly I've witnessed that birds of a feather do flock together, and you may do well getting another breed like her.

    However, your girl may be so eager for a second friend that integration would go fairly easy as long as you got a pleasant bird....the new bird will be insecure as to its place in the new area, and she might be so eager to have another flock mate, they may become the best of buds very quickly. I've seen that numerous times, especially if I purchase birds from different places. The newness of everything settles the pecking order very quickly as they huddled together to conquer the new unknown. This is especially true if the breed types are non-aggressive types, like Cochins and Silkies. But I've done it with BR's and other common layers.

    You can wait for the new birds to grow out. Be aware the new pullets will form their own subflock that may overwhelm your lonely only, especially if she is not an assertive bird, so having a flock mate could help her transition with the new birds. But if she is assertive, then she might be the queen that rules them all until they become full size and personalities take over.

    ETA: Of course you would want to wait until the pullets are at least teen size before introducing as your hen might chase and pick on birds that are half her size, especially if she is stressed.

    My thoughts.
    LofMc
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2015
  5. melodysmommy

    melodysmommy Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 9, 2014
    Thank you for your thoughts. I will keep an eye on her and look around for adults for sale just in case. DH wants another adult anyway to make up for lost eggs.
     

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