Chicken politics, introducing a chicken to a small flock

GardenGal

Songster
8 Years
Mar 11, 2011
1,421
32
153
Western WA
I'll try to keep this brief!

Due to two unexpected roosters and a mean hen, our flock is down to 3 hens. One hen had been the leader then fell to the bottom, and she's a sweetheart in any pecking order, the other two are characters, and have never cared about pecking orders one way or the other. My question is, I would love to get another hen (I really want an EE!), but I wonder if that would be a bad idea for the new hen and would disrupt the dynamic too much. Thanks for your input!
 

sharol

Crowing
9 Years
Jun 13, 2010
3,011
81
251
Admire, KS
How about introducing 2 new girls to your hens? Maybe slightly younger than the established ones. I added 5 to my existing 6 during the summer with little problem. It took several weeks of gradual introduction, though. They were separate at night for quite a while (I raise the new ones from day olds, so they were around from the time they were small). At about 12 weeks, they were all moved in to the same coop, and get along fine after some initial jockying for position.

At first they were 2 distinct flocks, but now they range and roost together as a single flock. It did disrupt the pecking order a bit. The bottom chicken was an older EE, and now she has moved up the ladder and one of the new girls now has that position. No one is picked on, but the bottom chicken is very shy and I think she may be deaf. I'm not sure, but she doesn't seem to react to auditory stimulation. 4 of the new girls are EE's and one is a Buff Orp, and they are all very nice chickens. My head chook is a Golden Campine that rules the roost (another chicken saying, I guess) with a firm hand/foot, but she isn't mean.

Good luck with the chickens. Aren't they fun to watch?
 

GardenGal

Songster
8 Years
Mar 11, 2011
1,421
32
153
Western WA
Thanks, Sharol. Our coop is just over 4 feet square, so it would be tight for more than four chickens. Their run is big enough for 10 - not that they want to hang out in it! If it's best for the chickens to incorporate them two at a time I'll wait until we have a bigger coop. And yes, I just love watching the chickens


Any one else have an opinion on adding just one hen?
 
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