Help! New chicken thrown into existing coop!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by cookiemonster63, Feb 23, 2017.

  1. cookiemonster63

    cookiemonster63 New Egg

    Apr 22, 2016
    So we had two chickens that have been together since birth. They are a year old.
    We have been thinking about adding a third (max we can have in city limits) for awhile now and had a casual chat with MIL about it a few days ago.

    Well, attempting to be helpful, she surprised us with a new chicken (her neighbors were downsizing) and put her in our existing coop while we were away, knowing nothing about chickens obviously. I was mortified when she called and surprised me. [​IMG][​IMG]

    We came home and my dominant hen was terrorizing the new gal badly. Newbie and my other hen were getting along surprisingly well. So I put up a diving wall (chicken wire) in my coop and put my dominant hen on one side and the newbie and my docile hen on the other. I figured removing the dominant one would help settle the playing field and get newbie a chance to settle in. They are still able to see and get right up next to each other, but can't harm each other.

    My main issues are lack of quarantine. I didn't see any point in removing newbie since she had spent the day with my other hens already. She appears 100% healthy, but of course there's no way to tell. How worried should I be? What should I be watching for?

    Also is there a better way to get my hens acquainted? Or should I keep the set up the same?

    I'm overwhelmed and quite frankly irritated with MIL despite her meaning well. Help!
  2. cookiemonster63

    cookiemonster63 New Egg

    Apr 22, 2016
    I should add, newbie is also an adult, so no worries about needing a brooder or etc.
  3. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Flock Master

    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    [​IMG]Here's a hug - I would be steaming, but it sounds like she thought she was doing something wonderful for you. MIL can be the most annoying people in the world IMHO.

    Separating them like that was a great idea- this is a good way for making introductions. So it sounds like you have this covered.

    Since they have been together and if the new hen has anything everyone is already exposed - no need to quarantine. When she has settled, give her a good look for any lice/mites - if you see any, give your girls a dusting with poultry dust or spray.

    Some things to watch for would be coughing, sneezing, runny nose(mucous) and watery eyes with discharge/pus. There is no way to know if a new chicken has anything contagious unless symptoms appear. Usually if a chicken has something contagious, you will start to see symptoms (either in her or your existing girls) within 7-10days. Quarantine periods ideally last minimum 2weeks.

    Hopefully she doesn't have anything and all will go well. Would love to see your new gal[​IMG]

    Keep us posted.

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