Help! New flock member...this is long

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by beccaboo254, Feb 9, 2014.

  1. beccaboo254

    beccaboo254 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 12, 2013
    Ok, so I HAD 3 Silkies, an EE, and a GL Wyandotte. Two of the Silkies started crowing and one at a time, went back. The guy I got them from raises chickens and builds coops for a living. I asked him about adding one more in b/c I didn't want just three, and he said better do it now while things are slightly disrupted from removing the last roo. All he had that wasn't a chick (my girls are all 4-5 months old) was a 2 year old Cornish Game hen. Her and her roo were about to go to a couple that wanted them for meat and he said he'd rather her get a forever home, so I figured what the heck.

    My head hen is Agatha, a fairly agressive EE. She used to peck me in the brooder when I'd reach in for one of the little Silkies, protecting her flock. She's still uber protective and not very friendly. Irene is behind her, a big Wyandotte that is the diva of the group. She LOVES attention and is very personable and the first to try something new (like when they first got let out into the big yard). Finally we have Autumn, a sweet little black silkie that never rocks the boat.

    Kathryn is the new girl. She's the same size as the Silkie, although probably weighs 4 times as much. I tried a straight up introduction today, (she was kept separate with her roo at his place so I didn't quarantine her) and were it not for Agatha, it would have been fine. The Silkie even let Kathryn hide next to her. Irene was content to ignore her, but Agatha had to be a brat. She chased, she pecked, typical stuff to "welcome" the new girl. I was going to just monitor all day, but Kathryn wound up hiding in a spot that I thought wasn't safe, so I dragged the giant dog pen into the run, set up the cat carrier I use to transport them as a "nesting area" and gave her food and water and put a heavy blanket over it on the north side. So she's "in" with them, but not in with them. She hid in the cat carrier the rest of the afternoon, while the others free ranged.

    So I've read the article here on intro-ing new birds. Obviously just one isn't the best, but it was my only option. 4 is the city max (we had five originally counting on one being a roo). Do I follow the plan to keep her in there but separate for a few weeks? Do I do the night time "sneak her in the roost" plan? Does Agatha need to spend a few days in the dog crate to take her down a notch when I do let Kathryn out? There seem to be so many ways to do this. Is this a lost cause and I should let her go be dinner? LOL

    I'm okay with taking my time, just want them to all get along eventually.

    Thanks!!
     
  2. AmericanMom

    AmericanMom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I always did the intro at night, but you have a good idea too.. This way they are aware of each other but cannot hurt her... Do it for a few days then try one night to take her out and put her on the roost...I have heard other say to take the aggressive hen and put her separate and let the newbie establish herself, don't know if this would cause problems when you reintro the dominant hen tho... I guess if something is working and your comfortable with it its your choice.[​IMG]
     
  3. beccaboo254

    beccaboo254 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, the new girl is venturing into her main pen some today. The dominant hen is still being a pain all around the pen, but at least she can't get to her. The Silkie seems interested but not in a threatening way. I've thought about putting the Silkie in with her next week, or putting the big girls up and letting the two smaller girls get to know each other. I guess I just need reassurance that eventually they'll all get along! LOL Will my head hen be a b**** forever??

    Maybe in a week if the head girl has lost interest in messing with Kathryn thru the pen, I can try the night sneak??
     
  4. beccaboo254

    beccaboo254 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Does the night thing really work that well? Like are they not beat up the next morning when the dominant birds realize there's a newbie?
     
  5. AmericanMom

    AmericanMom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It works sometimes, sometimes it does not.. I added four pullets I bought to my coop last summer, they we harassed by a couple of the hens so they tended to stay by themselves, until they started laying that is, now they are part of the flock and one has taken over as the dominant one... last fall I added a Molted Java to the flock, actually let me rephrase that, she added herself...I got her because she was broody and the lady I got her from didn't want a broody hen, of course moving her snapped her out of the broodiness and she ended up running out of the enclosure I had for her and strait to the flock, never had an issue...
    Who can figure out flock dynamics [​IMG]
     
  6. beccaboo254

    beccaboo254 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's good to know! The new girl just finished molting, according to the guy I got her from, so she should start laying again soon. My Wyandotte seems the closest to laying, so maybe the new girl or Irene will take over as head hen if they're laying and Agatha isn't? Does laying affect how the get along? My original three are all pullets but the new girl is a hen, so maybe that's why Agatha feels so threatened?

    This is more interesting than when I've brought in a new dog or cat! LOL
     
  7. AmericanMom

    AmericanMom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Not sure if whether they lay or not effects them...I have 10 pullet hens that I introduced to the flock a month and a half ago and we noticed yesterday the whole flock of 18 girls and 2 roosters are moving around the yard as one.. The pullets will go into the coop together to roost during the day but they are not harassed at all by the other flock members..
     

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