Does introducing new hens at night work in small flocks?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by kayri, Aug 29, 2008.

  1. kayri

    kayri Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 6, 2007
    RI
    Our hen, Patches, cut her leg badly and has been slowly healing for 3 weeks (numerous vet trips and antibiotics), but we had to separate her from her flock of 4 other hens. I tried to bring her up to them a few times so they wouldn't forget her, but they attacked her badly (bleeding comb and under her eye) and since her leg really wasn't ready to do battle, I stopped doing it for the last two weeks. She is feeling better now(still not completely healed) but is looking lonely so I thought I'd re-introduce her. Sorry for the ramble but the question is,

    "For those of you that have used the introduce at night method, how big were your flocks and was it sucessful in a small flock ? "

    Thanks for any help

    Kay
     
  2. Southernbelle

    Southernbelle Gone Broody

    Mar 17, 2008
    Virginia
    Hi Kayri!

    I had an older hen attack a pullet and injure her pretty badly. My pullet was bleeding, so I had to get her out of there until she healed. I kept her in a dog crate inside the coop. She felt better being closer to her buddies and they didn't forget who she was. All her Ameraucana hatchmates would roost on her crate every night (and poop on her [​IMG] )

    When I released her, there were a few tiny scuffles, but she acclimated really well.

    Is there a way you could put her in a cage within the coop so everyone can re-aquaint themselves, but she'd be safe?

    I've never tried the "intro at night" method, but I've heard others say the problem with that is: it's true they won't fight at night, but in the am they're going to notice the stranger, so you're just starting the battle 8 hours later.
     
  3. kayri

    kayri Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 6, 2007
    RI
    Today I moved her to a cage within the fenced area of the flock. I don't like to leave her in the cage all day though so after a few hours I bring her back down to my yard and let her run around.

    I suppose I could have tried to care for her for the last 3 weeks while she was up there in a cage, but it was easier down here where we had her on the covered porch and I could soak her leg, etc twice a day.

    Maybe I'll try to leave her in a cage in the fenced in area for a few more days before re-introducing her. I think that what the chickens generally do is fly over the fence so they don't see her all day anyway. . . sigh. Hopefuly they will work this out.

    Thanks for your input.

    Kay
     
  4. a2ms4chickens

    a2ms4chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 16, 2007
    Tucson, AZ
    I think you need to leave her in a cage or carrier so she can heal, but put her in the run or coop with the other chickens. It may take a week or so, but they'll get used to her being in there.

    Once she is completely healed, put her on the roost at night. In the morning, she may get a little picked on, but that is normal. After a day or so, things will calm down and she'll fit right in.

    This is how we introduce all new chicks and chickens to our already established flock. When we brought in 4 3 mos RIR chicks, they were in a dog kennel/cage in the chicken pen. I watched until the established flock stopped trying to peck them. It took about 1 1/2 weeks. On a Friday night, we put the birds on the roost with all of the other ones. On Saturday morning, we went out to supervise them, there was the pecking order thing, but no serious pecking or chasing. By Sunday, everything was calm.

    Good luck!!

    Angie
     
  5. onecent

    onecent Chillin' With My Peeps

    hi, i seem to have better luck with introducing new chickens or pullets at daybreak, i don't like the night time method, because when you put new chickens or pullets in at night, they cant see, & they can become very frightened and can hurt themselves, daybreak works much better for me, jmo.[​IMG]
     
  6. Chuntgray

    Chuntgray Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 17, 2008
    I made a small coop with a fence area one side of the fence is shared with the big coop. This way when I have to seprate them, they can still all be close to each other. I do this intruducing younger chickens as well. So far it works.
     
  7. kayri

    kayri Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 6, 2007
    RI
    Thanks to everyone who responded,

    Just want you to know that we kept Patches in a cage within the flock area for 2 days. I would let her out for about 1/2 hr at a time while I supervised all interactions, breaking up quite a few things that were looking very bad. At night we still brought her down to our house. They seemed to kind of remember her, and she kept trying to assume her pecking order rank which was 3rd or 4th from the bottom in a flock of 5. She actually went after 1 chicken (Midnight) rather aggresively. Well in the middle of the 2nd day she broke out of her cage and went with the flock. There has been a bit of posturing, but all is well and they have been fine for the last 2 days. I'd say she is well integrated now, her leg is still healing and hopefully within a week or so it will be completely healed and we can stop giving her antibiotics and changing bandages!.

    Thanks again everyone for the support. I really needed it!

    Kay
     

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