Heartbroken Seek advice introducing new chickens to remaining 2 hens

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Trishkabob, Oct 31, 2010.

  1. Trishkabob

    Trishkabob Songster

    Oct 30, 2010
    Schuylerville, NY
    Hi all,
    this is my first post. I decided to join because it has been so helpful to read the posts as we got our first chicks in April...a Dominique, an Austrolorp, a speckled Sussex, and a silver laced wyandotte. As some of you said , did I ever think I could love a chicken? Well, I hoped so but didn't realize how much!
    I am posting here because we just lost our second-the Dominique in July in the afternoon while we were nearby...just gone. no sign or sound of struggle but the Sussex was freaked out and the others ok. We were devastated.
    Then last Monday, a fox (we feel sure) took the austrolorp. I am heartbroken because she was like a puppy. Always underfoot, cooing away at me. When I was planting bulbs last week she kept jumping in the hole and looking up at me. I would lift her out of the way and in she'd hop again. So I am really having a hard time accepting she is gone. She had just started laying and was producing an egg every day.
    Also trying to figure what to do from here. We live near Saratoga, NY which has cold winters. As we get colder, we have only the Sussex and the Wyandotte. they don't like each other all that much-the austrolorp was the queen and kept order and kept track of everyone. now the Wyandotte is pecking the Sussex and they don't stay together as much as they should. And the Sussex seems a bit lost. I should add that they were free ranging before Gertrude died (the austrolorp) and we are keeping them in their pen a bit more now which they do not like. the Wyandotte was laying but hasn't laid since Gertrude died and the Sussex hasn't started to lay yet (late? Lower light of fall? Trauma from losing part of her flock?)
    With winter coming it seems like a bad time to brood new chicks or introduce an older pullet/chicken. we have a friend with a rooster he says is amazingly gentle-protects the hens and makes sure they are ok. he has offered him to us but I have resisted having a rooster.
    Any thoughts? is it better/okay for the 2 girls we have now to remain a duo and hope for the best? if we did, at some int, take the rooster, how best to introduce him?
    Or what about borrowing the rooster and letting the girls produce chicks (in the spring I should think)?

    I know I am too sad to do anything right now but we would appreciate any advice others may have. All kinds of good thoughts to you others who have lost hens....you're right, CAChickenNewbie,-it is only a slight condolence to know what good, happy lives they had...but some.
    Thanks much.

  2. panner123

    panner123 Songster

    Jan 15, 2007
    Garden Valley, ca
    There will be a pecking order no matter what you do. If you have the space, keep them seperated, but so they are able to see each other. If not, just put them together. They will work it out. The feathers will grow back.
  3. The disagreement between the two birds, is just flock dynamics. It will right itself when u get more birds. My Humble Opinion, is to ask yourself if you will continue with all free ranging, or build a coop with a run and be stricter with time outside the enclosure? If you decide to continue to free range, I would get a more game bird type chicken, large, and somewhat flighty. You wont be able to handle them as much, but they will fare far better free ranging and I would definately get a rooster. If you are going to build a coop and run, get some more lil chicks of the breeds you had success with, and introduce as many of them as u can to your remaining two girls when they are old enough. At that time, after the initial trouble of everyone getting introduced, flock dynamics will return. Good Luck, and welcome to the BYC.

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